Best of Irmo Chapin Life 2018
Best NIche 2018

Ben Lippen School

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Miss Tara Truesdale

Teaches: Upper School Math
 
This is Miss Truesdale's sixteenth year teaching and her fourth year at Ben Lippen. While she did live in Chicago for eight years, her family has always lived in the Carolinas. Her brother and his family live in Columbia and her parents live just an hour away. The stars of Miss Truesdale's family, though, are her two adorable nieces.  
 
What do you like to do in your free time? Watch Falcons fly? I really enjoy going to games, performances, and any other event to see my students involved in activities they are passionate about. I spend a good of time playing with Play-Doh and bubbles, swinging on the playground, and watching Bubble Guppies and anything with Minnie Mouse (with my two sweet nieces).  I also like to make things for my classroom and rewatch old television shows. Additionally, I participate in teaching discussion boards and follow other teachers across the country to see what they are doing.
 
What is something most people don't know about you? I'm working on my masters in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at CIU.
 
What are you passionate about? My kids [students]. Seeing them realize they CAN do something they believed that they couldn't. Hearing them explain a concept that they just learned. I love getting to know them and living life with them. It's so amazing to watch them grow up, pray with and for them, and walk alongside them during such a crazy time of life.
 
Why do you choose to work at Ben Lippen? Ben Lippen puts my students first and lets me do what is best for them.
 
What do you love most about Ben Lippen? The Falcon Family. I am always overwhelmed by the kids, the parents, the faculty & staff and the community that we all form. I don't know how to put it into words, but it's just that connection we all have and that wondrous feeling at games, open houses, the classroom, performances, staff meetings, after-school tutoring and conferences, even church and the grocery store, where we all know we are on the same team.
 
What do you love most about teaching the ages/grades you teach? I love teaching high school because I hated high school. No, really. You read that right. High school was tough, and it was just uncomfortable. I feel like that helps me to love on my kids and help them through this tough age. I also really enjoy teaching ninth all the way through twelfth grade because they change so much throughout this time, and it's really neat to get to spend two years during this stage with many and really get to know them.
 
What is your favorite part of your school day? This is a really tough one. There isn't a specific time that this happens, but I love to watch kids see math for what it really is...when the walls come down and a kid is able to understand how to solve a problem and really understand how it works.  When I look around my room and kids are having fun, even in a math class, or when I hear them talking with a partner explaining how they are thinking and what they can do next, those are my favorite moments.
 
What do you love most about teaching your students? I feel like my answer to this is, to quote our family group film this year, "the Falcon within."  My kids are amazing, but what makes them so special is this intangible quality, so it must be the Falcon within them. That and their fabulous parents who are great partners in this whole process.
 
What do you love most about teaching math? Math is the study of the patterns in the world, so, if I do my job right, it SHOULD make sense. Often kids come to me feeling like math is miserable and impossible. I know they may never like math, and it may never be their best subject, but I love being able to show them the patterns, being challenged to present it in a new light, and being there when they do it right...when they can explain it to a friend, and often when they make a higher grade than they are used to.