Where do you teach? Mayfield High School, Mayfield Independent
What subject(s)/grade(s) do you teach? AP English Literature and Composition and English Language Arts 11th Grade
How many years have you taught? 19
Why did you become a teacher? I have always heard, “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” That motto fits me perfectly. I’m a “go-getter” and have been for as long as I can remember… and for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to follow in my mother’s footsteps and be a teacher my students can forever count on. As a positive role model, it is my passion to help them achieve their dreams yet never stop encouraging them even after they have left my classroom. It may sound cliche, but it’s true: I became a teacher to make a difference, and I have learned that my students make just as much of a difference in my life as I do in theirs.
What has been the best part of teaching that you didn’t expect when entering the profession? Relationships- the greatest blessing of my teaching profession comes from the relationships I have developed with countless students who truly have become “my kids” in my near two decades as a teacher. When I started teaching, I knew I had what it took to have a positive rapport with my students; but I had no idea how those relationships would significantly help me become a better teacher, a better leader, and a better mother.
What is one thing you wish non-teachers knew about what you do? Teaching never ends: I’m planning in my head when I think of something on vacation that would help my kids, I’m contacting students at midnight when they need help, and I’m editing essays for my former students who are in grad school… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I need my kids just as much as they need me; I don’t “leave my job” each day because it’s with me everywhere I go.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a teacher? Honestly, my greatest accomplishment as a teacher is maintaining relationships with students who sat in my classroom a year to nearly twenty years ago. I have numerous Star Teacher awards, leadership roles, and certifications, but those don’t compare to the messages I receive from my kids years after they graduate and achieve their goals.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t teaching? I have two sets of twin boys- yes, I know, I get that reaction a lot (LOL)- and I would like nothing more than to spend time with them when I’m not in my classroom. We enjoy any type of water together, but the beach is our favorite. My husband is an avid fisherman, so, naturally, our young boys (ages ten and five) are attracted to the sport and spend as much time as possible near a beach, lake, or pond. There’s something quite peaceful about the water, too, when I’m outnumbered by five men!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Multitasking quickly would be an incredible superpower for me! I’d love to be able to grade papers, pack my boys’ backpacks and lunchboxes, fold clothes, and help my sons with their homework all at the same time and within a matter of minutes. That would leave more time to dedicate to all of my kids- my sons and my students.
Social media handles: @KaraDowdy on Twitter and Kara Byrn Dowdy on Facebook