Name: Brenda Porter
Years teaching: 22
School/subject taught: Morning Star Academy/English; Rhetoric and Debate
College background: BA in English at Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y.; MA in English at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Ill.
What got you into teaching? As a student, I loved school and reading, so of course I studied English. Teaching opportunities just came my way.
What is one of your favorite moments as a teacher? Teaching my daughters to read.
How have you made adjustments in the wake of COVID-19? Like every other school, Morning Star Academy in Bettendorf has a pandemic story. For Morning Star, the theme is teamwork. In March 2020, teachers and administrators gave up their spring break vacations, using the time to get ready for virtual classes, with some teachers sharing their tech expertise and training others on Google Classroom. Teachers gathered books, made photocopies, and distributed curriculum; a few even drove to their students’ homes to drop off needed materials. Throughout April and May, teachers wrote elaborate lessons and instructions, graded assignments and papers, shared ideas with one another, and attended online meetings. Some teachers filmed videos, others taught from their homes or empty classrooms -- cameras running -- and everyone answered emails from anxious students and concerned parents -- many, many emails!
Each teacher’s experience was marked by challenges. Some faced loneliness, others faced concerns about the health and safety of their family members, still others supervised their own children while preparing for and teaching classes. Despite these challenges, our teachers remained unified in purpose and committed to their work. Through their efforts, MSA students were able to finish the year strong. All glory be to Christ!