EDMOND—New fifth- and sixth-grade teacher Corinne Eagle is adjusting to her fast-paced daily routine during the opening weeks of Imperial Academy’s 2014-2015 academic year. Eagle is IA’s newest teacher; she was hired in March and this year has succeeded Leanne Brandon.
A typical day in the Eagle classroom consists of creative writing, reciting the United States presidents in order, sign language, math, language, oral reading, spelling, health, science and history, in that order. Her students cap off the day with physical education and music classes with other teachers. IA office aide Maggie Hilliker teaches drawing classes once a week to Eagle’s 13 students.
“This particular group of kids is really interested in geography,” Eagle said. “They love to play games to review facts. Anytime I’m reading, they always have their hands up. It makes teaching fun when they’re so interested.”
After 18 years experience homeschooling her five children in Michigan and Ohio, Eagle began her first year of teaching outside the home on August 12. “Having a lot of children and dealing with a myriad of questions at one time may have been the best preparation,” she said.
“I do think that having raised children gives her a level of patience and positivity that is evident in the way she handles her students,” Mrs. Brandon said. “As a mom with grown-up kids, she really understands how the fifth- and sixth-grade [class] is a vital bridge between the lower elementary foundation and success in middle and high school.”
“She’s organized and enthusiastic to be here,” IA principal’s assistant Brandon Nice said. “She loves kids, which really works out well with everything.”
Imperial Academy founder Gerald Flurry called Eagle in late March about a job opening. “He asked if I’d be interested,” she said. “He felt that it would be challenging, but that I could be successful at it because of my [Ambassador College] background.”
Starting in early April, Eagle learned the ins and outs of her new job in a live classroom setting under Mrs. Brandon’s tutelage. “She was very methodical about it,” Eagle said. “She was a great teacher even to a teacher.”
Over the last two months of the 2013-14 school year, Eagle graded assignments and observed Brandon’s teaching techniques and handling of disciplinary issues. A week after classes ended in late May, she was on her own. “By the time I headed into the summer, I felt very comfortable and ready,” she said. “Mrs. Brandon did a good job.”
Eagle said she took pride in setting up her classroom over summer break. “You make it yours,” she said. “You know where everything is. It’s organized in a way that is logical to you. Then, you give to the kids: ‘Here’s what we’ve created for you.’”
Besides transforming her classroom into a fertile learning environment, Eagle ordered supplies, familiarized herself with the lesson plans, photocopied materials, sorted files, and read teaching how-to books. Nearly five months of preparation led her smoothly into the school year.
Eagle said she is extremely thankful for her new responsibility. “The biggest reward is knowing I’m part of such an incredibly important aspect of God’s Work,” she said. “My favorite moments are the ‘Aha!’ moments. They make teaching a joy, day by day.”