Ms. Lyford is an 8th grade English teacher who has been teaching with APS for two years. Ms. Lyford feels that her role as an English teacher is important to her student’s education. “I am biased, but I think it’s hard to argue that any class is more important than English Language Arts. Students who can read critically, write and speak effectively have the keys for success for almost any path in life.“
When asked what is something about being a teacher that parents or people outside the school may not know or understand, Ms. Lyford replied, “I have found the Swanson community of parents to be tremendously supportive and understanding of the demands of our teaching jobs. But, I do think that unless you are a teacher it’s hard to communicate the extent to which we pour our whole selves into our work, how much we carry our concerns about individual students home with us and churn over how we can make adjustments to teach everyone more effectively. I think most people outside of teaching don’t understand how much work happens early in the morning and late at night because there isn’t enough time during the workday.” Ms. Lyford keeps herself motivated by working to create strong relationships with her students in order to give them the best learning opportunities possible.
Ms. Lyford shared the following when asked about a student whose progress made her year. “When I taught IBDP English at my last school, I remember one student who really struggled and wasn’t interested in the class at all. He wrote a fantastic essay using a passage to analyze the autobiography of a rock musician he loved. He picked up on literary nuances that none of the other students did. I found that the role that student interest and background knowledge play in a students’ ability to showcase their skills, was a powerful lesson for me. He surprised me, but mostly he surprised himself—he was a different student for the rest of the year and passed that IB English exam in May!”
Ms. Lyford is trying to catch up on all the different dystopian novels her students are reading. “I’m really enjoying Scythe by Neal Shusterman.”