“I think if you’re going to be a middle school teacher, you have to embrace the crazy a little bit.”
Bush Middle School Science Teacher Melinda Spradling embraces the crazy.
She thrives in it, but more importantly, her students thrive.
“In elementary, [science] is just kind of fun -- kind of magical,” said Spradling. “Now, we start intertwining that math with that science, and it gets a little more difficult. They really start scratching their heads and thinking, ‘oh, can I really do this?’”
In a recent class, students were given vials of chemicals. Then, working together, they guessed what would happen when they mixed certain things with others. They looked in awe as the chemical reactions surprised them. They watched the chemical bubble and change colors. It was a little crazy, but it taught the students about the scientific method, observation, and how to follow a process and work in a group.
The students were smiling.
They were interacting.
They were excited about learning.
This drives Spradling and has kept her coming back and teaching at Bush for the past 24 years.
“I am curious and want to instill curiosity in others,” said Spradling. “This is my calling. Teaching is a passion career. It’s fulfilling. I love seeing my previous students get married or land their first job. I love seeing what they are doing later in life and where they are going to college. That’s what keeps me coming back to the classroom. It’s not always the immediate results, but it’s the long term.”
Melinda Spradling is creating life-long learners #theNEISDway.