Middle School teacher Diana Ross work with students in Grade 8 on a science experiment.

Middle School teacher Diana Ross work with students in Grade 8 on a science experiment.

Q&A: Meet Diana Ross

What is your educational background?

I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education grades 1-8 and several graduate credits in science from Kent State University.

When did you decide to become a teacher, and why did you choose this field?

I have always loved the school atmosphere and thought of being a teacher when I was young. Having a background in dance and music, when I first went to college I majored in musical theater. Two years in I realized it was not what I wanted to do and was drawn back to education. I have never regretted my decision.

 What do you like most about teaching as a career?

The aha moments when something I have worked so hard to get across is realized by the students.

 What is your philosophy of education?

To help each student learn at their own level. I am not here to prove to the students how much I know. My job is to help each student reach their potential. To accomplish this I know I need to use varied teaching styles when presenting new concepts. I also try to instill in the students skills that are necessary for success in life.

 Describe your teaching style.

I like to think that my class is very structured yet relaxed. I want the girls to know what to expect and not be intimidated to ask questions. I try to be very approachable to the students.

The Elms Middle School is evolving and all of the changes are very exciting for students, parents and faculty.  What new initiatives are you and the Middle School team rolling out during this school year?

We are very excited to get the agricultural program started this year. We will be working closely with our little sisters in the Lower School with this program. We will also meet with our little sisters throughout the year. We have started a Middle School student council and have invited the 5th graders to have classroom representatives. The student council initiatives, fundraising and volunteer work will benefit students K-8. Our once a month bold week this year is focusing on Ohio. We have already visited Seiberling Nature Realm with our little sisters and will be traveling in October to a temple in Beachwood to learn about the Holocaust. We have something exciting planned for each month and will finish the year with a trip to Cincinnati. The Middle School students will also have the opportunity to be involved in a play this year.

 What do you think is the greatest challenge facing students today?

The greatest challenge facing students today is also one of the worlds’ greatest advancements and that is technology. With technology the world is at their fingertips and they have instant knowledge. Unfortunately this has led to an inability to sit still in class, be patient and listen. The students are used to instant gratification and don’t always want to put the effort into solving a problem.

How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom?

By asking questions and allowing them to share their responses. I try to help students to be in charge of their own learning. Of course labs in science lend themselves to this.

How do you integrate technology in your classroom?

I use the smart board on a daily basis in my classroom. I would love to eventually see each student have a Chromebook that they could use daily to submit assignments, do research and read text.

 What do you want your students to remember about your class?

That they learned in an environment that was fair, enjoyable and welcoming and that I treated everyone in a Christ-like manner.

 What interests do you pursue outside of the classroom

When I am not at school, I enjoy reading, walking and spending time with my grandchildren. I also take an adult tap dancing class with other women who danced as children.

 What are you currently reading for enjoyment?

I just finished reading Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper.