QAIS Staff Profile of the Week – Michelle Overman, MYP Language Acquisition

michelleovermandmmprofilepic17oct201601What is your favorite museum and why?

My favorite museum is the Natural Science Museum in Houston, TX. I have visited it countless times since I was a little girl and still enjoy it every time. They have so many hands on interactive sections and things to do instead of just looking at items behind glass.  Best of all is the giant glass pyramid attached to it that is full of plants and trees with countless butterflies fluttering around, a waterfall and stream running through it, and a laid back, fat iguana who loves to hang out on the rocks.  This place will always hold a special place in my heart for sharing its gifts and wonders with me as a child and then with my children. Hopefully some day I will take my grandchildren there to experience the magic through fresh eyes again.

What famous person do you admire most and why?

While he may only be famous in some teacher circles, Jeff Duncan-Andrade is someone I have a deep respect and admiration for. His Ted Talk on Growing Roses in Concrete helped set my compass as a teacher in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. Any time I grew weary or began to lose hope, I would re-watch his speech or read his works and remember how much my work mattered and what I was there for. His charter program in Oakland has had huge success in helping at risk students break cycles that would otherwise cripple their futures. That is what a hero looks like to me.

Describe a dream of what you will be doing in 20 years.

With technology moving so swiftly, I hope that in 20 years I will be teaching from home or exciting locations through virtual reality classrooms where we can take students on educational journeys like we have not yet dreamed of. For example, surfing through the cells of the body, sitting in the audience while Shakespeare’s players work the stage at The Rose, standing on the deck of the Pequod as Captain Ahab hunts Moby Dick, standing on the surface of the moon and feeling the difference between its gravity and Earth’s first hand, and so much more. Opening the entire world – the past, present, and future – to students with the help of a pair of glasses children located in different corners of the world will all be able to share a class together in this negotiated space. That would be amazing.