November Teacher of the Month
Bill Nye the Science Guy has nothing on University View Academy Science Teacher Tiffany Bateast. Nye is her childhood hero because “He is extremely detailed and connects the information to the real world,” she says. Bateast tries to improve on that technique by integrating it into her Earth Science lesson plans. She says, “I like that concept of relating to daily life and use it in my classes.” Bateast incorporates movie clips that have some environmental lessons for all her live sessions by connecting real-world experiences to her students.
She’s been teaching 13 years, two with University View Academy, and says, “… teaching is something that I was called to do.” She is a chemist by trade, and during graduate school, she says, “I heard the Lord tell me I want you to teach.” She never looked back. “I don’t see my students as a number but as a person and want them to leave class learning something they didn’t before,” Bateast adds. She’s also writing a grant request to buy equipment for science kits. It’s for her students to use as a lab and follow along as she does experiments during live sessions.
Bateast says she feels at home in the virtual setting of University View Academy. “I like the aspect that I can do more one-on-one with individual students. It’s easier for me to get to my students,” she explains. Bateast says the support she gets from other teachers and administrators makes her more comfortable and allows her to concentrate on teaching. She even likes the nickname of “The Beast” High School Assistant Principal Jason Cooper gave her out of the blue. She’s had that nickname for years due to her last name. She says some former students called her by that name because “I was open to motivating my kids.”
Bateast had some former students contact her to say “Thank You” after graduating since they realize the relevance of her course when they leave. Now, as a reinforcement for her style of teaching, she exclaims, “I’m getting phone calls from parents who were in live sessions with their students saying they’re learning a lot. I know I’m on the right track.”