What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love seeing the “ah-ha” moments of learning, especially with big ideas they can carry with them in life. It brings me great joy to see students discover nature and natural laws and be filled with wonder. And, of course I enjoy the humor of middle school students. They keep me young and always learning.
What is a memorable experience you’ve had while teaching? I’m lucky to have great memories each year. Some of my favorite memories are while we have been at Glen Helen for Outdoor Education Camp, playing games together during indoor recess or the beginning of class, and just having funny moments in class.
How have you maneuvered online classes and distance learning? I took into account what my students needed. They needed faces and conversation. As the weeks passed with online classes, I realized how much I love being in the classroom with people. My students are my inspiration and motivation. So, we met online a few times each week, I posted work and tried to make it engaging, and I just weathered the storm with them. I made sure to take care of myself too by limiting my office hours and finding ways to teach that were also fun and engaging for me, so I would not wear out.
How can families adapt to be successful during these challenging educational times? The students that have routines at home for when and where to do homework are very successful. This is the same for distance learning. Students need to develop routines and stick with them. They need to realize that adapting is an essential life and job skill and it is hard work, but they are doing it. Families need to help one another and have time for fun, too. Lastly, reaching out with any questions or concerns to a teacher they trust can really help early on so the students and parents don’t become overwhelmed and behind.
The Dayton Daily News is profiling educators in our region as they navigate through these challenging times. To nominate an educator, email Rebecca.Mullins@coxinc.com.