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Oklahoma State University

Teacher Feature: Paige Bergin

Alumni Teacher Paige Bergin

Name:

Paige Bergin

Degrees:

B.S. in Family Relations and Child Development, OSU (2001); M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Curriculum Supervision, OU (2006)

Current School Site:

Jarman Elementary (Union Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Teaching Position:

Instructional Coach, PK-5

Number of Years Teaching:

17

Why did you become a teacher?

I decided to become an educator because I loved the thought of being a part of children’s lives and helping them have a life-long love of learning. I wanted them to love school as much as I did.   

What do you love most about teaching?

I get so much joy out of the light-bulb moments. When I taught math, I loved teaching students there’s more than one way to solve a problem. Now that I’m an instructional coach, I love working with teachers to select a student-focused goal that targets increased student achievement. Seeing teachers achieve these goals makes it all worth it. I appreciate the work teachers put in and their dedication to their students. I love working with those in my school and across our amazing district to make learning the best it can be for our students. 

What advice would you give someone who is preparing to be a teacher?

Reach out for help! You have people who are ready and willing to assist you along the way. You aren’t expected to be an expert on day one. New teachers bring a lot of life, energy and new ideas to a school. Schools need that, so don’t be afraid to share. 

In 2010, you received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science, which is the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. What did that honor mean to you?

I was elated when I received notification of the award. I was excited beyond anything I ever imaged. To be recognized for teaching a subject to students that I absolutely love was such an honor. Not only was it an incredible experience to represent math teachers in Oklahoma, but it was nice to be valued by people in Washington D.C. The experience of meeting scientists from NASA, President Obama and Dr. Jill Biden was more than I ever thought I would achieve in my career. We have such incredible educators in Oklahoma, and to be recognized in this way was a dream come true.

What message do you want to communicate to the public about education?

In order to have a prosperous economy and workforce, we have to provide our students with better materials, better course offerings, smaller class sizes and access to highly qualified teachers. Together, we need to devise a plan for all these pieces to come together. I also believe our students and their families need access to mental health resources. We have such a high number of students facing traumatic situations, and we as educators need more training on how to handle these situations so we can provide resources and solutions. 


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