What do you love about Dakota Valley?
Basically, everything! I have taught for almost 15 years now, and all of that time has been spent at Dakota Valley. I love the community so much. I have never found a reason to leave. (“Smile” emoji here!) I really enjoy getting to know the families and participate in all of the school-community activities.
I also love the staff at Dakota Valley! Everyone is so friendly and collaborative. The teachers here do not live in a bubble inside their own classrooms. There is constant conversation and sharing of ideas to continue perfecting our craft to help students succeed. You can feel the passion about children in every teacher. It’s amazing!
What is the most teachable moment you have every experienced?
A few years ago when I was teaching 5th grade, a student stood up during the middle of direct instruction. Her eyes were large as she pointed to the window and exclaimed, “Mrs. Simpson, it’s a hawk!” We all rushed to the window just in time to see a hawk swoop down, snatch a prairie dog with its powerful talons, and fly away. Some students thought it was totally cool. Others were mortified. I turned to the class and said, “Well, there’s your live lesson on the food chain.”
What is your favorite book for children?
That’s a tough one! There are so many terrific books for children. Some of my favorite read alouds are the Ragweed series by Avi, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, and Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
What is your funniest moment teaching?
I don’t know if you would call this funny, but I tripped on a cord in class while teaching a few years ago, wiping out in front of all my students. I tried to brace myself with my arm and ended up with a fractured elbow. Ouch!! Now, I always make sure that my cords are tucked in.
Do you have any pets?
Oh yeah! We have two dogs. Our first dog, Jessie, is a German short-haired pointer. She has a ton of energy and is as loyal as can be. Our second dog, Scout, is a Great Dane. She is a retired show dog. She became a grand champion a couple of years ago, and then, we decided that it was time for puppies! She has had one litter so far. Having six puppies in our house was a blast, but when it was time for them to go to their new homes, we were ready!