Drive – it’s what gets us out of bed in the morning instead of sleeping in, it’s what keeps us going in good times and in bad, and it’s what can make or break a school system.

In his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, author Daniel Pink points out that “We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy.”

At the DEEL Office, we work with teachers from all across the district, and part of our mission is to support teachers by building their expertise through targeted trainings, afford opportunities for autonomy, and provide teachers time to build relationships with other teachers around the county. From the Key Beginning Teacher program to Teacher Leadership Institute to Facilitating Teacher positions, there are multiple pathways for teachers that are driven; those that seek self-direction, creativity, and interdependence.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a few of the driven educators we have the pleasure of working with. I asked each of them a few questions about what motivates them, and this is what they had to say.  

22549043_10208303400380951_4498422939851306879_oFirst is Brittany Daniels. Ms. Daniels is a 4th grade science teacher at South Greenville Elementary School. In her second year of teaching, Ms. Daniels is in the Key Beginning Teacher program where she learns leadership skills that help her support the other beginning teachers in her building. Ms. Daniels has found purpose in building meaningful relationships with her students

What are some of your reasons for choosing a career in education?

I have always loved helping others be successful. I am passionate about giving all students the opportunity to be successful in my classroom. It may sound cliche, but teaching to me is not a job, but rather a calling. When you see a kid who has a very challenging home situation come to school and is excited to come to your class and complete experiments and learn about science, that is the best feeling in the world.  

What are some of your goals as an educator?

My goal as an educator teaching at an inner city school is to provide my students every opportunity and experience that I can. As a science teacher, providing hands on activities, engaging content, and career oriented focused lessons is my top goal in the education field. In a few years, I would love the opportunity to become a professor and teach college students how to incorporate science effectively in an elementary classroom.  

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?

I hope my kids remember that Ms. Daniels cared for them in and out of the classroom. Building relationships with the students and families is a top priority of mine. I have attended numerous out of school functions to show support and when the students know that you care about them, they are much more likely to work hard within the classroom setting.

In what ways have you grown as an educator this school year?

As an educator, I feel that I have grown as a leader and have learned incredible strategies to use in my classroom thanks to the Key BT Program.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

My favorite holiday tradition is riding around with my family on Christmas Eve and looking at Christmas lights. We then go back to the house and watch a Christmas Movie.

Finally, Ms. Daniels shared with us her favorite quote, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world” – Harriet Tubman.
426208_10101217162972663_1019143383_nNext I’d like to introduce you to Will Tyer, a science teacher at Ayden-Grifton High School. Mr. Tyer has been a teacher for 10 years and this year has taken on the role of Facilitating Teacher (FT). As a FT, Mr. Tyer works with a team of teachers in his building to jointly solve a problem of practice in his school. His strong desire to produce capable citizens and level the playing field is what drives him.

What are some of your reasons for choosing a career in education?

Education is the great equalizer of society.

What are some of your goals as an educator?

To instill in young people a strong distaste for ignorance, especially where science is concerned.

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?

I hope the lessons I am able to teach my students stick with them as they continue their education and help them to be successful in whatever pathway they choose.

In what ways have you grown as an educator this school year?

The training I have received through the FT program has helped me to reflect more effectively on my methods and develop new strategies for student inclusivity and differentiation.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Shopping with children from disadvantaged households with my local Kiwanis club.

VernonApril E.91

Finally, we have April Vernon, a 5th year Pre-K teacher also at Lakeforest Elementary School. Ms. Vernon is a member of our Teacher Leadership Institute where she is currently completing a capstone project that impacts students needing behavioral support. Her drive comes from her love of students and the desire to see them be successful.

What are some of your reasons for choosing a career in education?

Teaching tiny humans is my passion! I never imagined doing anything else, and that was feeling reaffirmed as I went through my undergrad program, and began my career in the classroom 5 years ago.

What are some of your goals as an educator?

To continue learning how to best support my students as we work together to build a foundation for learning. And to advocate for early childhood education and early intervention for all children, no matter their background.

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?

How important it is to foster a love of learning in our students, and to try our best to keep that love alive as they continue through school and life.

In what ways have you grown as an educator this school year?

I have been able to step outside of the comfort zone of my classroom and explore more ways to work as a team with others in my school to achieve a common goal.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Decorating the Christmas tree 🙂

Like these teachers, for us at the DEEL office, it’s all about purpose and relationships and learning and growing.  It’s about giving teachers opportunities to take risks and supporting them along the way.  This is what gets us out of bed in the morning; this is what drives us. What drives you?


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