Alicia Williams’ first grade students learned her name at the beginning of the school year as Miss Menefee. Then she got married in December.
“It was a challenge for my students to get from Miss Menefee to Mrs. Williams,” she says.
After graduating from high school in Guthrie Center, Williams continued her education at Wartburg College where she studied music education and music therapy. She followed that with a master’s of science in teaching from Drake University.
This is Williams’ first year teaching first grade and her second year in the Dallas Center-Grimes School District. She subbed in the middle school last year. Her first teaching job was as a vocal music teacher for K-fifth graders in Indianola at Emerson Elementary School.
“I love having a smaller group of 20,” Williams says. “I feel I can really get to know them and help them learn and be successful. I love integrating music into the classroom.”
Williams’ favorite subject to teach is math.
“It is interesting to see the different ways the students solve problems. They love talking about numbers,” she says. “I had one boy say to me ‘Did you know zeros are powerful?’ The students are talking a lot about number order and do more counting by twos and fives and so on. I’d have to say there is nothing I dislike about teaching.”
William grew up singing in church in her elementary years and continued throughout school.
“I even sang in some musicals during my college years,” she says. “I still sing in our church in Madrid and sometimes lead worship there.”
Williams says a high point of her day in the classroom is at the beginning of the day when they have “Open Circle.” The students sit on the carpet, and they pick a topic to share.
“It’s fun to see them listen to each other and learn how to be a community,” she says, “I try to be very positive, and keep a positive attitude. “I think it is important to teach students not only academics, but how we talk to others and be good people as well as good students.”