Teacher of the Week: Ms. Elizabeth Ditty


Fabria Brower

Mrs. Elizabeth Ditty is a kindergarten teacher at Tyrone elementary and is a Tyrone alum.

Tyrone has heard many great things about Ms. Ditty. Tyrone’s kindergarten students absolutely adore her. She has been described as bubbly and optimistic. Tyrone is grateful to have Ms. Ditty as a part of the team. Thank you for everything you do for us, and keep inspiring students to do the best they can!

Eagle Eye: Why did you become a teacher?

Elizabeth Ditty: I actually had a very difficult time dealing with school bullies when I was a student here at Tyrone. When my peers were very rude to me about my weight/clothes and bubbly personality, my teachers were some of the only people who were kind to me unconditionally. My teachers were nice to me and supportive of me when my peers were not. The impact that my teachers at Tyrone had on me changed my life and I wouldn’t be here today without them. Their love and kindness inspired me to become a teacher and then very dark times socially motivated me to want to make a difference for the students at Tyrone! I wanted to be the teacher who would protect my students and keep them safe!

EE: Why did you choose the subject you teach?

ED: I knew I wanted to teach children because I truly enjoy emergent literacy and foundational math skills. I have always loved to read and I knew I’d get to read aloud to younger students.

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

ED: My students! I do it for them! I wake up each day and am motivated by the fact I have 17 little friends on their way to see me! I also enjoy being so close to home!

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

ED: I enjoy writing poems and journaling in my free time. I also love to read memoirs and autobiographies. I will admit, my favorite sport is shopping! I love shopping for clothes and coffee mugs. I am a big coffee drinker and actually collect Rae Dunn coffee mugs. I always get so excited when I find one to add to my collection!

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

ED: “Try to leave work at work.” During my first few years of teaching, I’d be working on school-related things 24/7 and constantly thinking about what I needed to do next for my classroom/what I could prep for. It took me a few years to realize I need to focus on myself as a human first, so that I can be the healthiest and happiest [and well-rested haha] teacher for my students. So finding that work/life balance was the best advice I’ve been given so far. I do this now and it truly makes such a difference!

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

ED: For me, the hardest part has been being so hard on myself regarding all that is expected of me. I feel like I have a million responsibilities all at once and I can never catch my breath. From teaching content, assessing, being with the children the entire day, planning every single part of the day, learning a new curriculum to still making sure I am kind/positive and a good role model for the kids… it is a lot! Then, I’ll beat myself up for feeling like I didn’t get everything done or do my best… but I just try my best each day to remember that I am a human and if I am doing my best, I’ll eventually get everything caught up. It took me so long to stop being so hard on myself and comparing myself to others or to pictures I see online of what other teachers are doing! I just try my best each day to be the best teacher I can be!

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

ED: I currently work a second job at my favorite store, TJ Maxx! Aside from that, I’ve held many jobs with children. I taught preschool for 3 years, was a professional tutor at Grier School, directed the Park Avenue Summer Program here in Tyrone, was a lifeguard and swim instructor for the Tyrone Community Pool and I also held various jobs while in college. In college, I was a resident assistant, student tele-counselor, office assistant, camp counselor, and even a writer for the campus paper and an online digital platform.

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

ED: I am obsessed with tattoos and have 4 of them. I plan to get more! I am a deep person and think they are so meaningful and creative!

EE: What’s your favorite movie?

ED: I love all of the Disney Princess movies. Snow White is my favorite!

EE: What is your spirit animal? Why?

ED: I have always thought my spirit animal was a blue whale or an elephant, but just last year my class and I had caterpillars and we watched them transform into a butterfly for science. One of them had wings that didn’t quite form right. All the other butterflies were flying around and the one with the wrinkled wings was just on the bottom of the net for a few days. We researched and found out that the butterfly would still make it, just might not ever fly. We took that wounded butterfly outside in the sunshine and set her [or him] on a flower and watched as it tried and tried to fly. We will never know if that butterfly did fly, but my students and I predicted that our sweet butterfly did get off of that flower and fly high with the rest! During that time, I was going through a lot of obstacles in my life and I connected so deeply with that butterfly. It reminded me that no matter the adversities in life, you can still push through and find the sun! Sometimes it may take you a little longer to fly than others, but your time will Also, for my formal observation here at school [they make me so nervous] I even wore a butterfly dress to remind me of how far I’ve come and that if our butterfly could gain the strength to fly… so can I!