Ms. Perry teaches 6th grade math and has been with APS for 5 years. Positions previously held by Ms. Perry include Elementary Resource Teacher at a Title 1 School outside of Atlanta, Village Director and Counselor at Camp Crestridge for Girls, sales associate at GAP and Hallmark, and an ABA therapist in Athens and Atlanta, GA.
“I have always been a teacher,” Ms. Perry stated when asked how she became interested in working with kids. “I knew I wanted to work with children with disabilities in college when I started volunteering at the PLAY program at Kennesaw State University. I volunteered with other programs at the University of Georgia and then started working 1:1 and creating learning programs for children with Autism in College.”
Something outside of the classroom that has helped shape Ms. Perry is a select group of people that she joined who are dedicated to improving their lives. “At the helm of this group are several life coaches. One frame that I have been taught that I use in the classroom is looking at each event as (circumstance-thought-feeling-action-result). This has helped me analyze the emotion that I and others carry into the classroom and how are thoughts are connected to how we respond.“
When asked what makes her role in the classroom important Ms. Perry replied, “My role in my department and in class is important because I have a unique background in emotions and behavior, so I see things from a different angle. It is also great to have another adult in the classroom to provide relational support for students.”
Ms. Perry surrounds herself with excellent teachers and monitors what and who gets most of her attention outside of the classroom. “I am fortunate to work with the 6th grade math department and they are always trying new ways of teaching. I am constantly learning and was just was accepted into the George Mason Leadership Cohort for Arlington and Alexandria schools. I am excited about starting this program. I also am working on adding an additional certification to my teaching certificate. I believe great teachers are continual learners.”
Eric Underhill is a leader who inspires Ms. Perry. “I admire him because he is always out in the hallways checking on students and the staff. He was there for me when I went through a scary situation in my life. He has a servant’s heart, is always striving to learn more, and encourages me to step out of my comfort zone.”
Ms. Perry would give the following advice to those aspiring to teach. “Start with the idea that you are going to just figure it out, take notes and revise your plan on your way to your destination, and find a tribe of like-minded people that you can talk to.