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Teacher of the Day

Name:  Julia Nations

School:  Cedar Park Middle School

Subject: Research Skills

State:  TX

What’s the nicest thing a student or colleague has ever done to help you?

Most teachers don't realize how busy librarians are, but this one did. She would shelve books for me while I taught her class. It made me feel very appreciated.

If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?

Had I started earlier, I would probably be a pediatrician. Today, I would work for a non-profit supporting children or animals.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?

You will have some amazing days, and some terrible ones. Most will be a combination of the two, with the former outweighing the latter. If your heart is in it, stay and fight the good fight. Find a strong, dedicated teacher you can respect who will agree to take you under-wing and guide you through the tough issues.

If the day comes that you no longer recall what it feels like to be somewhat idealistic and hopeful about teaching, please find a profession that inspires you. Teaching is not for everyone, but learning is. Your students deserve that.

What was the last (non-academic) book you read?

Better in 7, by Dr. Andrew Ordon.

What TV show are you most embarrassed about loving?

"Miss Advised." I feel like their older sister, alternately scolding and cheering.

What is your favorite time of the school year?

Mid-spring, when the rewards of months of hard work become clearly evident.

Something that always gives me a good belly laugh is…

A child's unexpectedly innocent and funny insight. Such as when I showed a child how to use the library catalog to find a book, and she declared me "a GENIUS!" Or another child who hugged me, breathed in deeply against my sleeve, and said, "Oh, Ms. Nations, you smell just like... my grandmother!"

My best day in the classroom was when…

Any child who struggled with a concept had a cognitive breakthrough. There is no sight more touching than that look of pride and surprise on a child's face.

What’s your secret snack indulgence?

Wine and cheese. But not at school!


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