Today’s teacher spotlight shines on Ann Baxley, who earned her teacher certification through MetroRESA’s alternative certification program in 2007. Ann is in her 11th year teaching Chemistry and Physical Science at Walton High School, and she is Walton’s 2017 Teacher of the Year!

Ann Baxley headshot

Ms. Baxley began her teaching career in 2007 after transitioning from 15 years running a business, writing curriculum, teaching hands-on science at preschools, and being a “professional volunteer” at her own childrens’ schools and at church. When her youngest daughter graduated from high school, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of teaching Chemistry. Her passion overflows and inspires her students to love science.

Ms. Baxley has a heart for all of her students, at all levels of learning. During the 2017 eclipse, she organized a field trip to Clemson University so her students could view the eclipse in the path of totality. What an awesome experience for these students.

eclipse field trip

What are some of your favorite teaching moments?

  • Seeing 9th graders get interested in science when I apply it to real life. I started an after school program where students can apply their knowledge in a fun way. We received a grant to purchase tool sets so the students can repair broken appliances. Watching the students come in on their own time because they enjoy it is amazing.
  • Observing students during labs is also very rewarding. They make mistakes, and they work together to learn how to correct those mistakes. This extends to all areas of life and
  • Teaching is more to me than a job. It is an opportunity to change lives. As such, I appreciate the involvement of my family, and I am open to sharing that with my students. I have pictures of my family on my bookshelves. My husband has volunteered as a chaperone. My grandchildren have helped me set up my classroom. Letting the students see who I am outside of the classroom helps them connect and engage.IMG_4076.JPG

What piece of advice would you give to new teachers?

  • Don’t get overwhelmed with the abundance of resources, apps, ideas, technologies, ways to teach, etc. Focus on specializing in one or two things and doing those well instead of trying to implement everything and becoming overwhelmed.

Why did you choose MetroRESA’s GaTAPP for your certification?

  • My school recommended MetroRESA as being a strong, top-notch program. I knew I wanted to become fully certified, and this was a very convenient option. One of the best things about the program was the observations – my supervisor and my mentor were very helpful in providing guidance and suggestions. Even now, 10 years later, my mentor plays a huge role in my development and I gain so much valuable knowledge from her.
  • I also went through the gifted certification that was taught by MetroRESA. This was also an excellent program to prepare me to teach the higher level students.

Congratulations, Ms. Baxley, on the well-deserved title of Teacher of the Year for Walton High School! MetroRESA GaTAPP is proud to have you as an alumni!