Natalie Bowen teaches first grade at Bryan Elementary in Morris and has been a teacher for twelve years having recently earned her National Board Certification.
We welcome Natalie to our Teacher Spotlight Series!
Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?
I teach first grade at Bryan Elementary and have been teaching for twelve years. I also recently earned my National Board Certification. My husband, John-Eric, and I live in Warrior with our son, Brooks (6), and we have another little boy on the way.
In high school, we had a classmate who had to miss an extended period of school, so we were all assigned a lesson to teach to catch him up. I remember my teacher making the comment that I was a natural and had done a great job explaining the lesson. That single compliment stuck with me and motivated me to want to teach. After my freshman year at U.A.B. as a Marketing major, I couldn’t shake the desire to want to go into Education. I ended up changing my major, finishing at U.A.B., and then getting my masters at Hawaii Pacific University.
What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
My favorite part of being a teacher is getting to know my students and their families as well as my coworkers. Relationships are key in education. Our class becomes a family, and I strive to foster an environment where students know they are safe and loved.
Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”
Watching students grow in many ways from the beginning of the year to the end and beyond when they come back to visit over the years is truly one of the most rewarding parts of being a teacher. Just like my teacher impacted me, I hope to motivate my students to find their individual gifts and talents and use them to fulfill their dreams.
What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?
Education is not for the faint of heart. It is ever-changing and we wear many other hats besides teaching children. Students come with a variety of different needs that must be met before any learning can take place. Also, learning is a collaboration between home, community, and school. When students have a team of loving adults to partner together and make education a priority, they will truly thrive! We are so fortunate at Bryan Elementary to have such wonderful support from our families, teaching teams, and administrators.