Meet Walking Classroom Ambassador Holly Dent. Holly teaches fourth grade language arts at Sixth Avenue Elementary School in Colorado. Holly has worked in education for almost 23 years. She has used The Walking Classroom for the past two and a half years.
What are your memories of yourself when you were in fourth grade?
I loved to read and I loved to do school work. At home, I set up a classroom in our playroom. I would bring home extra worksheets from school to use in my classroom. I was always the teacher and my younger siblings and friends were the students.
What led you to become an educator?
I knew as a young child. It’s all I have ever wanted to do.
Share your educational philosophy in one to three sentences.
I want to make learning fun for kids. If they are having fun, they will be engaged, and they will learn so much more.
What is your favorite content area/topic to teach? Why?
I love teaching reading. Reading is necessary for all of the other content areas. When we find a book that grabs students’ interest, and they protest when it’s time to put reading away and to move on to something else – that’s what it’s all about.
What is your favorite podcast or Walking Classroom memory and why?
#32 – Prepositions! It’s my favorite because the kids get to do something while they are walking. It’s great to see all of their bunnies jumping over and running around their boxes while we are walking!
What is your best teaching memory?
With nearly 23 years of teaching under my belt, there are a lot of them. My best teaching memory from this school year happened this fall. We were reading the novel Because of Winn Dixie. When were at the end of the book, a student said, “Wow, Winnie sure changed a lot in this book.” My ears perked up, and I asked him to explain. Then another student said, “The Dewberry boys changed, too.” Before I knew it, student after student had identified changes in all of the characters in the story over time. We had a twenty minute conversation about how and why the characters had changed throughout the story. None of it was prompted by me. They did it all on their own. That is why I love doing what I do!
What advice would you give to a new teacher?
Seek help, ask questions, and set high expectations for behavior and learning from the start.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, playing the violin, and riding our Harley.
Name something you’d like to cross off your bucket list.
A hot air balloon ride!
Way to go!