HCS Changemaker: Mrs. Megan Dudley
Congratulations to Mrs. Megan Dudley, an eighth-grade teacher at Challenger Middle School, who has been selected as an HCS Changemaker!Mrs. Dudley has always known that she wanted a career that would allow her to help people in some way. Early on in the seventh grade, she developed great respect for an English teacher who encouraged her to excel at reading, writing, and speaking. Mrs. Dudley also recalls an English teacher in 11th grade who was very understanding and compassionate during a difficult time in her life. These influences, among others, demonstrated how much a teacher can connect with students in ways that ultimately better their lives, and in so doing showed Mrs. Dudley the perfect career where she could achieve her goal of helping others.
“Not only does she make things fun,” says Challenger Middle School Principal Bo Coln, “but it’s very rigorous. She loves the kids, and the kids can tell that she cares about them.” Mrs. Dudley sets very high standards for her students and pushes them to achieve those standards, though she does admit that some accommodations have had to be made due to the unique nature of this school year. She always tries to relate the material being studied to real life though, and above all she is honest with her students. She encourages them to take leadership roles in the classroom, which often involves taking charge of discussions or teaching a chapter from a book to the rest of the class. This gives students real ownership of their learning, but Mrs. Dudley is always there to offer supports when needed.
When she isn’t working on or preparing for classroom lessons, Mrs. Dudley loves to travel. She and her husband have had the good fortune to be able to travel to both Europe and Australia, and she says they are working on a sort of ‘bucket list’ for places they want to go next. She also loves baking, spending time with family, going to the beach, swimming, and reading books. She spends a great deal of time over the summer reading young adult novels so she can help guide students to things they might enjoy reading.
More than anything, Mrs. Dudley wants to make sure her students are prepared to go on to high school. She says, “I want my students to know that I tried my hardest for them and they learned a lot, and they can take that with them and use it.” When a student comes back and tells her about the A’s and B’s they are making in high school, it serves as a great source of evidence that she is a highly effective teacher who is pushing her students to be the absolute best they can be.