Teacher Spotlight: Donna Countryman

Grade(s) Taught:
K-5th grade

Subjects Taught:
All (math, reading, science, social studies)

School Name:
Northeast Elementary School in Goldsboro

North Carolina

Teaching Motto:
Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

How many years have you been teaching?
10 years

Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
My daughter, Heather. She was born with Down Syndrome and she has shown me how to teach other children with disabilities. To be kind, patient, understanding but firm and consistent. This is the way I taught her and this is the way I teach my students today.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
Go in to teaching with love for children. Have high expectations for your students and strive to help them reach these expectations. DO NOT GIVE UP!! Teaching is hard work and it is really a 24/7 type of job. You never are able to leave it at school.

My best day in the classroom was when:
When I was teaching about how apples are grown from a tree, not just bought in a grocery store. A student came up to me with an apple in his hand from lunch and looked on the bottom of the apple and said Ms. Donna, here is the where the flower was before the apple grew. WOW!! I did get through to him!!

What’s your one must-have item for your classroom?

If you could have one teacher superpower, what would it be?
To be able to provide safe, secure, love for each of my students at home as well as in school. 95% of our students live in houseing projects where guns going off in the middle of the day or night is an everyday occurance. I would love for my students to not have to live in this type of neighborhood and to show respect for adults in their lives.

What was the last non-academic book you’ve read?
Nicholas Sparks – A Safe Harbor

What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?
Composer of Music

Have a question you’d like to ask your fellow educators?
Why do teachers have to beg, borrow and steal to get a decent raise or salary when we are the ones who teach the children to be doctors, lawyers, star athletes and millionaires? Something is basically wrong with this picture.

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