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Catherine Hawkins – Lanier Middle School

Name  Catherine Hawkins

School  Lanier Middle School

Grade/Subject    Mathematics.  I teach Math 7 Honors and Math 8.

How long have you been a teacher?

-This is my fourth year at Lanier, and my eleventh year as a teacher.

What is your favorite lesson of the year?

-When learning about percentages, students act out visiting a high-quality restaurant.  Each student contributes to making the menu, and pricing the items.  Volunteer “Diners” then visit the House of Hawkins staffed by another volunteer “Server”, and order from the student-created menu.  The entire class is figuring out the total cost of food, tax, and tip, while laughing at some of the menu items and enjoying the show. It’s fun for all of us, and a very practical real-life lesson.

What do you like most about your school? 

-The very positive atmosphere at Lanier is a great match for me.  We reward the behaviors we want to see more of (Positive Behavior Intervention/Support). I find the school is a very upbeat place to spend my time in!

Why do you like this grade (best thing about this age of students)

-Teaching middle school-age children is NEVER boring!  So much intellectual, emotional, and social development takes place at this age.  The children make strides toward independence and self-reliance.  It’s wonderful to observe!

One tip for parents: 

-Praise your child’s effort.  You can’t control whether or not your child will win a game or will ‘ace’ a test, but you can acknowledge your child’s effort put into preparing for those.

5 Quick Q&A

Favorite book? 

I like books about different cultures and books about current affairs.  Two recent favorites are Claire of the Sea Light, by Edwidge Danticot, about a fishing community in Haiti, and Escape from Camp 14, by Blaine Harden, about a man born and raised in a North Korean labor camp, who escapes to freedom.

College/University attended? 

University of Maryland (undergraduate)/Old Dominion University (graduate)

If you could be another profession, what would it be? 

I have worked as a software engineer (seven years), and wouldn’t go back to that, but I think I’d enjoy working in the renewable energies field.

Favorite place to travel? 

My husband and I love to travel.  I’ve enjoyed Peru, New Zealand, and Greece, the Dominican Republic, and national parks, including Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon in Utah.  I prefer to seek out new destinations.  One of our daughters moved to Russia this summer (for work).  I look forward to visiting her there – maybe next summer.

Favorite thing to do on weekends? 

We like to hike, especially at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, or head into the city to visit museums and art galleries. Also, I enjoy watching professional soccer.

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