By Alisha Thompson
Lucy Knight is not your typical science teacher. She could easily be classified as the Mrs. Frizzle of Davis Middle School. Her goal in the classroom is to facilitate your child in learning, make it fun along the way and don’t forget the life lessons.
She wants each student to know that they can take information and work together to learn as a group.
Lucy focuses on group and partner discussions, group activities and hands on learning. She’s quick to throw in a game or two and reward the top three finishers in the game. For Lucy, her classroom is not just about science, it’s about learning and applying life skills that will benefit the student in the future.
Study and review of the material is a lesson, too. Learning how to take notes, find the important material in the lessons and make note cards is a skill that Lucy said each of her students will learn.
Those moments lead to her biggest reward in the classroom – when a student “get’s it.”
“I know all the teachers say when they get it. I know its so cliché,” Lucy said with a laugh. “The kid that has struggled and struggled, when that kid is like I got it! Yes you do! And we celebrate.”
Her biggest struggle is getting everyone on board with how she teaches.
“I am a facilitator not necessarily a lecturer. I don’t stand in front of the class and read from my Power Point. We discuss it. We bring it back to them. I help them get to where they need to be,” Lucy said.
For the kids who have a hard time falling in line with the way she teaches she said a partner is the best way to help get on board. “A lot of times you just need a partner. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to about the lesson that is not me,” she explained. “I understand that. Because if you hear it from someone else instead of me, you might hear it right.”
When a student leaves Lucy’s classroom, she wants them to know science but she also wants them to thrive in a social situation. “Can you talk to someone?” she asks “Do you have study skills?”
Lucy teaches the teachers, too.
During the summer she ran a week long training session for teachers about Google. Google became the norm in the classroom a couple of years ago when Davis transitioned to technology in the classroom.
There were several teachers that weren’t excited about this change. “We broke it down in chunks they could use in the classroom,” Lucy said. “I was able to individualize with them what they needed in their classrooms.”
This learning took place after school in the fall, too. “Still learning, that’s relationship,” she said. “Especially during the summer I was able to build relationship, especially with that core group that kept coming every day. If you don’t have a relationship how can I teach you? If you’re a teacher or a student? How do I teach you? I want teachers lives to be easy. Technology should enhance the classroom, not be a hurdle.”
Being named Middle School Teacher of the year in Davis was a recognition Lucy was honored to receive. She was also proud, because she felt like she earned it.
Ending her tenth year of teaching, Lucy has been at Davis Middle School for 3 of those years. She has taught every hour of the day with no break. She was at Sulphur Middle School and Plainview for a year each. “I have put in a lot of time teaching and helping teachers and students,” Lucy said with a smile. “I have worked and worked and worked to get there.”
And, these middle school kids bring her joy. “Middle school is fun. The kids don’t have a filter and they are hilarious. They are goofy. They are not too serious.”
She is a certified Google trainer. “It’s not an easy thing to get,” she said. “A masters was not an easy thing to get. This is an accomplishment. There were only a few in the state this summer.”
All of these accomplishments have come with two small kids. One in Pre-K and one in first grade.
This honor is comes with marking a goal off of her list, coming home.
Lucy may have graduated from Norman North High School and found herself in Stillwater and Ada for college but she calls Davis home. Her husband, Brett is a DHS alumni and her mother-in-law, Sheri was a principal at Davis and her father-law taught school in Davis.
Who would think that someone who went to college be a veterinarian would become a middle school science teacher? As a parent of a Davis Middle School student, I am thankful for the substitute teaching job during college that changed your mind. Sometimes venturing off the path can lead to the most rewarding destination, like becoming Davis Middle School Teacher of the Year.
By Alisha Thompson