Meet Walking Classroom Ambassador Diane Denniston. Diane teaches fifth grade at Hayward Elementary in Nebraska, and is in her first year using The Walking Classroom. She has worked in education for 26 years, and has taught special education, third grade, and fifth grade!
What are your memories of yourself when you were that age?
I remember getting braces on my teeth in fifth grade and how much I hated them! I also remember passing notes to my friends in the classroom and hoping that we wouldn’t get caught by the teacher!
What led you to become an educator?
I had an awesome second grade teacher that made learning so much fun! Her passion for teaching and her enthusiasm in the classroom inspired me to become a teacher.
As a teacher, it is my responsibility to not only prepare my students academically, but also to encourage them to become respectful, responsible adults who are productive citizens in society.
What is your favorite content area/topic to teach? Why?
I love to teach science. There are so many things in the world that we take for granted or don’t fully understand (i.e. seeds growing into plants, earthquakes, the ocean’s tides, the moon phases, etc.). When you discover the “science” behind these things, you realize that the world we live in is truly amazing!
What is your favorite podcast or Walking Classroom memory and why?
My favorite Walking Classroom memory was when I surprised my students in May by walking them to Burger King and buying an ice cream cone for each of them.
What is your best teaching memory?
Since I live in a small community, I often see students that I taught many years ago who are now adults. They often will call me by my nickname, “Mrs. D”, and share a memory with me of when they were in my classroom. That makes me feel especially proud to be a teacher, and I realize the impact we can have on our students in the short time we have with them.
What advice would you give to a new teacher?
Always have a “plan B” when teaching a lesson, so you can be prepared for the unexpected.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy working in my garden, planting flowers, taking walks with my dog, and spending time with family and friends.
Name something you’d like to cross off your bucket list.
I would love to go whale watching on a boat off the coast of Alaska someday!