Laura Allen makes first grade magical.

by student writer Madyn Maxwell


One day, my brother, John Michael Maxwell came home and said, “Today was the best day ever!”

So, I got curious. I wanted to find out what the life of a first grade teacher was like. Mrs. Laura Allen said, “It’s magical!”

One of Mrs. Allen’s favorite things about first grade is that her students still want to come to school. Her least favorite thing is tying shoes. 

Mrs. Allen loves all the theme days of first grade, but her favorite is the Valentine's Day one - which is weird because she doesn’t like the holiday outside of school. She likes it because the first grade teachers plan it as a team. 

In addition to theme days, first grade goes on a few different field trips each year.  Her favorite field trip is when first grade goes to Graceland in the spring. “I like Memphis as a city so I like Memphis history,” Allen said. “I also like it because the firsties get to learn something new about their city.”  

Mrs. Allen’s favorite subject to teach is ELA and phonics. “Phonics and ELA just kind of go together,” Allen said. “In phonics you learn how to read and write, and you need to know how to read and write in ELA.”

Whenever Mrs. Allen is not teaching, she is using her time to help her first graders in other ways like making power-points and doing a lot of planning. Sometimes, she even shows up to her students' sporting events unexpectedly.

Mrs. Allen has won a few awards for teaching:  2016-17 Educator of the Week from News Channel 3, 2019 Teacher of the Year, and 2022 Germantown Education Commission Teacher of the Month.

If she had to have another job she said she would be a full-time dog mom. She loves her two dogs, Knox and Ollie. Mrs. Allen actually printed out water bottle stickers of Knox and Ollie for herself.  

It turns out my brother, John Michael was right.  First grade is awesome - thanks to wonderful teachers like Mrs. Allen!