Allison Darnell, Middle School Science Teacher and Sixth-Grade Dean
"The lightbulb moments after they pushed through challenging concepts and the joy that my students bring to class each day inspire me."
What motivated and inspired you to teach?
I joined Teach for America after college and taught for two years at an inner city charter school in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up in Dallas and attended Ursuline, so teaching in the projects was definitely an eye-opening experience. It was through those experiences that I realized that I love teaching. Helping students learn new ways to solve math problems and teaching them different ways to think is what motivates me.
What makes you excited to come to school every day?
The joy on the students' faces and the interactions with my co-workers makes me excited to come to ESD. There is a special community here. I am excited to make learning fun, make math exciting, and help the students' minds grow by teaching them new ways to think. One thing that I really appreciate is ESD's focus on whole-child development.
What life lesson do you want your students to learn in your classroom?
You are going to have set backs throughout your life, but it is important to stay true to yourself and to not give up!
Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself!
I have still have my horse that I competed with throughout high school and college. Shadow is his name and I got him at the start of my eighth-grade year in August 2000.
What is your favorite book and why?
I love the book, Wonder. It is an easy read, yet full of life lessons - kindness, perseverance, stay true to yourself, and getting to know people for who they really are.
If you could have dinner with three people, alive or not, who would they be?
My Grandma who passed away in December 2015 - I have so many fond memories of her and would love to have one last laugh with her. Grandma made everything fun! Princess Kate Middleton - I love following the Royal Family. I follow them through their multiple accounts on social media. I would love to be able to talk to Kate and how her life changed from being a "normal" person to marrying into the Royal Family. Ben Franklin - He had so many great inventions. What would he think of our world today?