by DianaLyn Perkins (@perkyscience)

This year I began my 10th year as an educator and my first year as a digital learning coach. I have had 3 different positions now all in the same district. As I reflect on the ride, there are so many things I am thankful for.

My first role as an educator was as a special education science teacher. I entered the education world as an alternative certification educator. I had been a physical science TA for 4 years in college, but that was so many years ago. I still remember two days before the kids were to come in sitting in front of my computer wondering what I was going to do with them. Just as the panic was really starting to settle in, my mentor, Sharon Pyburn, came in, walked me off my cliff and helped me plan my first lesson. She was so supportive doing all she could to help me get the resources I needed. She made a difference for me and for my kids. I co-taught with many different educators and gained valuable lessons from each one of them, but Angie Mahalic became not only a great co-teacher but also a valued friend. In addition, when I was going for my Master’s degree she was so open to every idea I brought to her, no matter how challenging or involved it was.

My second role was as a 6th and 7th-grade science teacher where I taught both GenEd and GT learners. There, my principal, Laura Springer made such a difference. She gave me room to grow and explore new ways of doing things from competitions to gamification and a number of things in between. In addition, she gave me the best example of loving your learners where ever they are that I have ever been blessed to see. She knows the names of every kid in her middle school and gives hugs out daily, to both learners and educators.


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