Teachers wear many hats throughout their careers. While they take on extracurricular activities outside of the classroom, the work they do in the classroom can make a huge difference in the lives of their students.
Tyra Gowdy teaches at Ponca City High School and says that giving her students a great learning atmosphere is important.
“I enjoy being able to create a space where students in the special education program can be themselves and can learn in the way that makes them most comfortable,” Gowdy said. “I also enjoy being able to cater to student interests within the classroom.”
Gowdy is in her fifth year of teaching at Ponca City. She is a self-contained special education teacher that teaches English, Math, and life skills to students in ninth through 12th grades.
While Gowdy loves teaching, that was not her first choice in a career. But after helping some students, she realized what she wanted to do.
“I didn’t originally go to school for education,” she said. “While I was completing my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to tutor students who needed extra help in reading and language arts. I enjoyed seeing how excited students became when they mastered something they had previously struggled with. It was during this time that I decided I wanted to work with students, specifically students that need individualized instruction.”
Gowdy was also influenced by the instructors that she had as a student at Jackson State University.
“The professors cared not only about academics but also making sure you were prepared for any future endeavors,” Gowdy said. “Many of my professors provided opportunities for me that really shaped who I am as a person today.”
Whenever she is not teaching in the classroom, Tyra enjoys spending time with her three daughters. She also enjoys reading and baking.