District Mentor Coach
It is such an honor for me to be given the opportunity to develop relationships with new teachers as their district mentor. What an important and rewarding role! Every day that I get to support the professional growth of new teachers through mentoring, coaching, feedback and collaboration, it creates a growing learning environment for the students they teach.
Iris Harrell – My Story
District Mentor Coach
What I did know, was that I would be a teacher someday. What I didn’t know, was that I would be a lifelong learner as I spent my career in public education. I still cannot believe that I started teaching over 25 years ago in our wonderful school district! I have had the most amazing teaching positions! Each year has taught me more about myself, what I still can and need to learn, what learners need from their teachers, how vulnerability is an open door to what else you were “supposed to do”, reflection is a necessary growth component, and how we should all believe in ourselves and in our ability to offer good to someone else.
Whenever I graduated from Florida State University, (Go Noles!) I was the young and new elementary school teacher. I loved the planning and crafting we did to learn about new concepts/topics, the decorating, the small groups, and no computers! Each year thereafter I got a little older and changed things up…only as much as I needed to, though. Fast forward to my teaching middle school where I’ve spent most of my career. (I literally had to spend hours studying lessons of various subjects in order to teach them to my students the next day.) I even challenged myself with leading workforce education of high school and adult students. Talk about staying only one step ahead! Early in my career I would’ve never believed that I would be facilitating learning of my own colleagues in professional development trainings. But, I was priviledged to be in this position for five incredible years. During this time, I learned so much about how technology is necessary and can even help you to teach! My comfort zone became a model for other teachers where we fostered a support network and an ever-growing passion for learning all we could about how to teach students math so that they could understand and use their knowledge to solve problems. In my experience, General Education and Exceptional Student Education require most of the same wisdom, a growth-mindset. The paths I’ve taken each year have given me just enough to feel prepared for the next assignment. I’m not afraid to try something new, not because I’ve failed at the prior, but because I’ve learned enough to learn even more.
It’s been a blessing for me to experience the necessary changes in education because of the changes in the world and the expected outcomes of the learner. I have always believed it has been my responsibility to equip my students not only for the ability to successfully engage in a particular assignment, but for their abillity to have an entry point into something else that would continue to move them forward.
I am very excited every day to think about getting the opportunity to encourage and support the learning of a new teacher. Giving them the freedom to be transparent with someone they know they can trust will most definitely be a model for them to be that person for their own students. I believe my career path brought me to this place for such a time as this.
“I’m fortunate to have you this year, Iris! I learned a lot today. Thank you!”
How Can I Help You?
The teachers that I work with are never alone on their journey to become the most confident, skilled, passionate, caring, and supportive facilitators of learning for their students. I believe in the power of collaboration because I believe our students deserve the best that comes from individuals working together to provide them the learning they need.
Qualifications & Awards
Christina award blurb.
- 1985 – 1987 Pensacola Junior College – Associates of Arts
- 1987 – 1989 Florida State University – Bachelor of Science: Child Development and Elementary Education
- Professional Certification:
- Pre-K/Primary (PreK-3)
- Elementary Ed (1-6)
- Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum (6-8)
- Middle Grades Math (5-9)
- Family & Consumer Science (6-12)
- ESE (K-12)
- 1990 – 1995 Chumuckla Elementary School – Reading and Math Intervention, 2nd Grade
- 1996 – 1998 S. S. Dixon Intermediate School – 6th Grade, General Ed.
- 1998 – 2008 Thomas L. Sims Middle School – 6th Grade, General Ed.
- 2008 – 2010 Locklin Technical Center – ProStart Culinary Instructor, High School and Adults
- 2010 – 2011 Berryhill Elementary School – Math Coach
- 2011 – 2013 Thomas L. Sims Middle School – 8th Grade, General Ed. and ESE
- 2013 – 2018 SRCSD – TSA Secondary Mathematics
- Florida Association of Supervisors of Mathematics (FAMS)
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
- Santa Rosa County Council Teachers of Mathematics (SRCCTM)
- Math Department Chairperson, Thomas L. Sims Middle School
- Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA)