Guten Tag! Varner works German into lessons at Straughn Elementary

Published 1:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

Straughn Elementary School first grade teacher Stacy Varner believes that teaching is all about the simple things.

This is Varner’s fifth year at Straughn and she doesn’t plan to go anywhere else any time soon.

“I wanted to become a teacher of course, because of the kids,” Varner said. “But also because I felt like it was something that I could be really good at. It is only my fifth year teaching, but I plan to retire here at Straughn Elementary. I love the community and there are so many opportunities here.”

She graduated from Pleasant Home High School in 2007, went to LBW Community College for two years, and graduated from Troy University in Dothan in 2012.

“I believe that my education definitely prepared me to become the teacher I am today,” Varner said. “Especially at Troy University in Dothan, they had a lot of in the classroom experience and I believe that really prepared me.”

Varner said that the best part of her job is the kids, but sometimes there is not enough time in the day.

“The kids will always be the best part of my job,” Varner said. “But the most challenging is that there is not enough time to get what I need to be taught done. There is always something going on and sometimes we don’t get things done and it is frustrating, because I have to get things done within a certain time.”

She makes sure that her classroom is mostly student led, so that her students get the most out of their education.

“Everybody has a job to do in my classroom,” Varner said. “I think it is very important to let them have a lot of responsibilities in the classroom. For example, we have a pet in the classroom so we have a pet caretaker. It just helps a lot with classroom management.”

For any college student preparing to become a teacher, Varner advises to not give up.

“The first three years are going to be the hardest,” Varner said. “But don’t be discouraged. Not every year is going to be the same.”

Varner, who is half German, incorporates the German language into her classroom.

“We say hello, goodbye and we try to count in German,” Varner said. “I believe it is important to incorporate different cultures into the classroom. You never know when you might get a student here that speaks a different language. I think the students really like to learn it because it is something that their parents don’t know.”

She believes that teaching is important because teachers educate students on more than just reading and writing.

“Teaching is everything to me,” Varner said. “It’s the simple things like standing in line, I mean, you have to wait your turn in Walmart, right? We teach them life skills like getting along with others, so it is so important.”

Outside of the classroom, Varner enjoys spending time with her husband, Dusty Varner, their two boys, and being involved with her church family at Harmony Baptist Church.