BRAND NEW to Hardin Valley Elementary but not new to changing lives, meet HVES’s newest addition to the 3rd grade team, The Marvelous Mrs. Miranda Davis!
Adam: Where were you born?
Miranda: Mount Vernon, Illinois. I moved here most recently from San Diego.
Adam: What was your elementary school mascot?
Miranda: We were the Spartans.
Adam: What college did you go to?
Miranda: Azusa Pacific University, a small private Christian school in the Los Angeles area. I always wanted to go to California. We moved from Illinois to Oregon when I was 15 and I finished high school there. Being so close to California, I couldn’t pass up the chance to go.
Adam: How did you handle the move to Oregon?
Miranda: It was very difficult. We moved in October. So my sophomore year had already started and then I ended up going to three high schools total. We moved cities in Oregon after about a year.
Adam: What did you major in at Azusa?
Miranda: Liberal studies, which in California, you do this to be an elementary school teacher.
Adam: How many years have you taught?
Miranda: This year will make 22 years.
Adam: You’re covering third grade this year. What other grades have you taught?
Miranda: All of them from K to six for about 4 years each.
Adam: Do you enjoy switching it up?
Miranda: I think I like it actually. It started when my family and I decided to move and they put me in a different grade. I found it to be fun! Then, I ended up switching schools again and it was another different grade. Found that to be fun too! I started to find that I liked something different at each grade level. There is a part of me that would like to stick with something too. It’s a lot of work to keep changing and relearning the curriculum, and third grade is one of the best in elementary so I could see myself staying put.
Adam: Do you sponsor any clubs or coach any sports?
Miranda: Sometimes I think about it. My husband’s the one who coaches, so he’s gone with practices and games a lot and I’m carting my kids around to their sports. That’s why I haven’t done anything yet, but if I did it would be cheerleading.
Adam: Why did you get into teaching?
Miranda: Growing up, I did not want to be a teacher. I actually wanted to be a news broadcaster. But, then while I was in college, I had roommates that were all studying to be teachers. I heard them talk about it a lot and their experiences in the classroom. They invited me to tag along with them. I went and volunteered and I fell in love with it my sophomore year of college. I knew that’s what I wanted to do and I switched my major. I also loved my third grade teacher. I think it was always in the back of my mind and she was part of that. Her name was Mrs. Liles. She made learning so fun. She had the kids looking forward to class, wondering what she had in store for us everyday.
Adam: Any stories you remember?
Miranda: She would do crazy things. We went on a field trip to a nearby lake. We were learning something science related, but what I remember is her letting us wade in the water and the next thing you know, everyone’s swimming in the lake with their clothes on and she’s doing it with us and laughing! Most teachers would have freaked out. I know I would! But she was just having fun with us and I’ll never forget that.
Adam: What’s your funniest teaching story?
Miranda: Gosh there’s so many. As a teacher, we’re always embarrassing ourselves. I was a newer teacher, teaching fourth grade, and my husband and I had been dating a couple years. On Valentine’s Day a man showed up to my classroom with roses and a camera crew. I had no idea what was going on! My students are making funny noises and saying “That’s not Mr. Davis! Who is that!?” I thought, I don’t know! I don’t know who this man is! Come to find out, it was just the delivery guy with a news crew that wanted to follow him delivering flowers. Then, I noticed the card on there and saw it was from my husband. It was a cute story that made it on the news.
Adam: What’s your most heartwarming teaching story?
Miranda: There’s a lot of them. That’s the best part of teaching, making a difference in the life of a child. When I taught middle school, I got really close with those kids because they will open up and tell you some tough stories. So, there was one girl who just kind of shared what was going on in her life at home. She was poverty stricken and didn’t have much. It broke my heart and made me break down and start crying hearing her tell stories. I asked my whole sixth grade team of teachers to help me brainstorm what we can do for this girl. Everyone came together and they were donating clothes and gift cards and food. I told the little girl to come by my classroom after school. There were so many items to give her that she had to come by my room everyday for a couple weeks in order to take it all home. She and her mom were so very thankful. Being able to help them out was so special.
Adam: What would you do if you weren’t teaching?
Miranda: I would be a news broadcaster because I think that would be a really fun career. I always think about it. I decided not to do it because of the hours and I knew I wanted to be a mom. You have to wake up super early if you’re the morning news and you have to move around the United States. I thought, that’s not a good life for a mom. I think it would still be a cool job though.
Adam: Are there any teachers or admin that you wanna give a shout out to for being particularly helpful in your transition here?
Miranda: My team is so amazing. There are 11 of us in all, which is huge. They always come up to me one on one. How can I help you? What do you need? Do you need some copies? Do you want me to help you with this lesson? I started December 1st. They always go out of their way to help me and they’re still doing it. I’ve even received gifts from them and I just feel really fortunate and a part of the team. They have been there and it’s just a very loving community.
Adam: I love hearing that you thought you were coming for a job and you got a family.
Adam: Have you earned any professional awards?
Miranda: I’ve earned a bunch of little things and the Teacher Spotlight! In my previous school district, I was also chosen to be a part of the Voyager team, which is a group of 6-10 teachers selected to make sure technology is integrated into the classrooms. After the two year program, we received completion certificates.
Adam: What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?
Miranda: I would say being a mom even though of course I love teaching. They kind of go together. I always tell my students that they are my school children. I’m your school mom. But being a mom of my two children, Lila and Colton is such a blessing and I’m very grateful for it.
Adam: What do you wish every parent knew?
Miranda: That kind of goes with my last answer. That us teachers, we love your children. They are like our second kids and our hearts break when they get hurt or something sad happens to them and we are cheering them on! We want them to do their best. I know they are the actual parents, but we care for them like a parent too.
Adam: What do you wish every student knew?
Miranda: That I don’t sleep in the classroom. They think we live here. Know that I’m a real person. I think they expect teachers to be perfect and not make mistakes but we are just humans.
Adam: What’s the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher?
Miranda: A good teacher does what’s expected of them and teaches the required academic standards. They make sure that they are covering everything they need to cover. A great teacher builds relationships. If you have good relationships with your students, then you really know what each kid in your class needs both academically and personally, and you’re really meeting the need for that child.
Adam: What improvement would you most like to see made to public education?
Miranda: I feel they have a lot of expectations of teachers and they don’t give us enough time or resources to do the superhero job that they sometimes want us to do. I don’t know what that looks like. Maybe it’s bringing more teachers in, so you can have multiple teachers in a room. Maybe it’s giving us more time to really understand our standards and the curriculum and prepare awesome lessons. I just feel like they keep adding more to our plate and not giving us enough time and resources to handle all of that.
Adam: What is something that you could use in your classroom?
Miranda: I have made a wish list and these wonderful parents of mine have been contributing and donating! They’ve been great. I do still need a vacuum! I know that sounds silly. This little push one isn’t doing it. Even the kids make fun of it. Haha! I also need earbuds and/or headphones. (Update: Adam Wilson Realty called dibs on providing the vacuum!)
Adam: What hobbies do you have?
Miranda: I love walking my dog and I like dancing. I like hiking and camping with my family. I used to be big into snowboarding, but I’m getting older and I feel like it might be time to stop doing that. Haha. When I fall down, I don’t get up anymore.
Adam: What kind of dancing?
Miranda: I used to do cheerleading. I like freestyle dancing. I just love being with a group of people and dancing. It’s fun for me. I even like country line dancing.
Adam: What’s a good way for a student or a parent to spoil you?
Miranda: I really feel like you can’t go wrong with gift cards to restaurants, Amazon, Target, any of those!
Adam: Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Miranda: I like all kinds of food!
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