by Derrick Smith
Angela Braggs is a first-grade teacher at Skyline Elementary School in Stillwater. She is in her eighth year as a teacher at Skyline, but this is her twentieth year overall. She says that she loves being a teacher and impacting the lives of her students, but teaching was not her first instinct as a career.
“It took me a while to know that I wanted to be an educator,” she said. “I had always pretended as a little girl to be a teacher when I played in my room but as a graduating high school student, I wanted to pursue more interesting career paths. I originally thought I wanted to be an interior designer or a physical therapist. I was waiting to be accepted to the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Tulsa Community College when I began volunteering at my church in the three-year-old room. I enjoyed doing lessons that included puppets and songs and seeing the delight on the children’s faces, it was pure joy. Since I was only a sophomore at the time, I began taking a few classes about child development to see if it interested me, and the rest is history. I now believe that there is not another profession that can be more interesting than that of an educator. It has new surprises and challenges every day and year.”
Braggs says that as a student, she had a lot of teachers that made an impact on her and helped shape her into the person that she is today.
“I have so many teachers that have impacted me,” she said. “My fourth-grade teacher gave me my love of a good read-aloud and my fifth-grade teacher was so encouraging and helped build my confidence. My seventh-grade science teacher made science so interesting to me then and is why I strive to bring science alive for my students today. My junior and senior grade AP English teachers opened my eyes to great pieces of literature and helped me develop my voice in writing.”
Braggs and her husband have been married for 26 years. They have two daughters that are currently attending Oklahoma State University. They also have a pomeranian named Rango.