Ms. Pugh is an elementary language arts and science teacher at International Connections Academy (iNaCA). She started her teaching career in 2006 and joined iNaCA in 2010. Ms. Pugh holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from DePauw University and a master’s degree from Arkansas State University.
When asked about her experiences with iNaCA, Ms. Pugh responded as follows:
“Teaching has always been a part of my life. As a young girl, I asked for teaching supplies for my birthdays and would host classes for dolls, stuffed animals, friends, and any willing participant. I continued to foster my love for teaching when I worked in the elementary classroom as a high schooler. Thus, pursuing a degree in elementary education seemed like the logical choice as I headed off to college.
I became a teacher because of my parents. Both were teachers in their own classrooms, but their love and passion for learning trickled into my everyday life. Early on, my dad and I would debate political candidates, as he was a government professor. Delight (for both me and my parents) was found when I figured out the Pythagorean theorem at a young age. As a family, we learned that road trips were times of intense discovery. My parents usually allowed me to guide my own learning and to pursue topics of interest to me. They allowed my curiosity to take me wherever—even to the rooftop of our house to try out my parachute on a doll. The joy of learning was instilled in me. Ultimately, that’s what I seek to do when I educate students.
One benefit of online schooling versus bricks-and-mortar schooling is that students in the former can move at their own pace to some degree. What fifth grader doesn’t struggle with fractions? It’s wonderful that when reaching such a point, a student can slow down and really seek to master the topic. Another benefit is that each student truly receives some type of modification from me such as enrichment or remediation, or perhaps a modification to the schedule. Learning is personalized and, through that personalization, close bonds are formed between the teacher and the student.
Our curriculum is phenomenal and has a strong focus on writing. It also teaches students to take ownership of their learning and makes then independent learners, which are important skills for college success.”
In Ms. Pugh’s spare time, she is a dance teacher and choreographer. She also teaches Turbo Kick.
I love my students. They are an incredible bunch of kids. Each one has unique skills and talents. Each one has a unique reason for being here. I love the diversity, and I love how we all bring our own ‘corner of the world’ together. The environment is incredibly beneficial for all.