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Stephanie Dodson

Stephanie Dodson

Walnut Grove Elementary School 
11.5 Years of Teaching; 4 Years at Center Grove 

To me, teaching is important because...

The one word I wanted to focus on for this school year is connection.  Brene Brown says, “Connection is the energy that is created between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.” Teaching is important because I have the privilege to make connections everyday with students, parents, siblings of students, and staff members.  Giving another person the opportunity to be seen, heard, and valued is a calling that I do not take lightly.  

My first grade classroom this year was 20% students with special needs and 100% students with big personalities.  The school year has been successful because I have worked alongside an amazing first grade team of teachers, special education teachers, building assistants, Adult and Child, and an inspiring staff and administration.  Creating an inclusive community where each child feels seen, heard, and valued has been a challenge that I have joyfully taken on and succeeded at.  Watching the children in my classroom come together to accept, love and depend upon one another is nothing short of a miracle in the making.  One of my favorite moments of the year has been watching a student teach another student that struggles with physical limitations how to pump her legs and swing independently.  To think that I get a front seat to these kinds of moments everyday thrills my soul!