Eagle Eye Teacher of the Week: Stephanie McClelland

Stephanie McClelland is the fifth-grade science teacher, ELA teacher, and team leader.  In addition to her regular teaching duties, she organizes field trips, attends team leader meetings, serves on interview committees, and is a support for new teachers.  Mrs. McClelland connects well with all students and with her background in special education she is able to provide extra support to students with learning difficulties.

TAMS Principal Shane Cowher is thankful to have her on the middle school staff.

“Mrs. McClelland is a great science teacher,” said Cowher, “She is really good at making science fun for her students and coming up with hands-on learning activities for them.  She gets them thinking about science in ways they may not have thought of before.  She is also a great ELA teacher.  This year she has really embraced our new ELA series in fifth grade.  She gets her students to interact with the text and pull evidence from the text to support their responses.”

Eagle Eye: Why did you become a teacher?

Stephanie McClelland: I wanted to become a teacher to be able to make a positive difference in the lives of children. For me, it is a fulfilling challenge to be a part of stimulating the next generation to become lifelong learners. I have always been grateful to my dad (who is a retired professor) for implanting these values in me.

EE: Why did you choose the subject you teach?

SM: I love teaching reading because I love watching students who don’t necessarily like to read gain an appreciation for reading by the end of the school year. When I was a kid I hated to read, however, as I grew older I learned to love it. I want my students to see my passion for reading and, possibly, be curious enough to give it a chance; you never know what you could discover in a good book!

As much as I love teaching reading, it doesn’t compare to my love for teaching science. Science is one of those subjects where you can truly see how creative your students can be. With endless possibilities of hands-on opportunities, all students get the chance to shine and put their knowledge (and what we’ve learned in class) to the test!

EE: What’s your favorite thing about teaching at Tyrone?

SM: My students! They are so cute and challenge me on a daily basis to be a better version of myself!

EE: What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

SM: I love to go hiking, sing, cook, play the piano, and read on my hammock.

EE: What is some good advice you’ve been given as a teacher?

SM: Choose your battles!

EE: What’s the hardest part of teaching and why?

SM: Teaching is never boring; no two days are exactly the same. The students keep me on my toes on a daily basis, which helps me feel young and spry (even if I’ve gained a lot of gray hairs in the process)!

EE: What are some jobs held before you got into teaching?

SM: Christmas Tree Farm Worker, YMCA Children’s Summer Camp Counselor, and Babysitting.

EE: What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

SM: I am the same height now as I was in fourth grade. I, also, still shop in the kids’ department for shoes.

EE: What’s your favorite movie?

SM: Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore

EE: What is your spirit animal? Why?

SM: A coyote! The coyote is known to be a jokester, playful, and adaptable. They have a great sense of humor, and often impart their wisdom in the form of humor.