Teacher, Indian Woods Middle School
Julie Oglesby is constantly wowed by her middle school students at Indian Woods Middle School. “When I give them the necessary tools to be successful, scaffold, and then get out of the way and let them engage in discussions with one another, it is amazing what they come up with and the depth of the conversations,” she states. Julie hopes that as a teacher she can empower her students to participate in civic life in school, their community, and their government. She is especially keen on training them in civil discourse. “It’s ok to disagree, discuss, and still be friends with those that do not agree with you,” Julie says.
Julie’s biggest influence throughout her career has been her colleagues and former teachers. She also points to a network of teachers that she has developed over time from social media and professional development events. “Meeting with these educators is always inspiring and has made me the teacher I am today. I also am constantly working to improve and sharpen my skills as an educator and in turn be the teacher leader that inspires others within my building and district,” Julie says.
She faces some challenges at school when some of her students have troubled home lives, but she puts her full effort into creating a safe environment in the classroom where everyone can flourish. And her favorite era of history to teach? “I love talking about the Founding and how the Constitution relates to our everyday lives,” Julie says.