Educator of the Week: Jennifer Alford

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s time to recognize this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery. 

Jennifer Alford has only been teaching for three years. However, she has known since she was a child that it is what she wanted to do. 

“My sister had a learning disability when she was younger. Seeing her struggle and helping her with that really encouraged me to become a teacher,” Alford said.

Alford is now teaching multiple subjects to her fourth grade class at Milan Elementary School. She loves what she does but says it isn’t the easiest job sometimes – especially at the beginning. 

“You come into the classroom. They’re kids and you’re new to them. They don’t know who you are, you don’t know who they are exactly, and you have to learn them so you can incorporate your teaching into their learning,” Alford said. 

Alford says after you develop those relationships with the students, it always gets easier. She encourages them to focus on learning the material in the classroom, rather than their grades. 

“In my classroom, it’s not,’ you have to have the highest grade or be number one on this.’ It’s when that light bulb clicks. I describe that as being successful,” Alford said.

Overall, Alford wants to help her students be the best version of themselves possible. 

“I want to continue to bring out the best in kids and let them know that it’s okay to struggle,” Alford said. “I want to be there to help them do that.”

Alford is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website. To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week, Local News, News