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Q&A with 3rd Grade Teacher Bailie Henry

Third grade teacher Bailie Henry grew up in Tulsa, attending Lanier Elementary and Edison Middle and High School before her family moved to Owasso. She began her teaching career at Celia Clinton in the middle of the 2018-2019 school year after graduating from Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Why did want to be a teacher?

In college, I had originally started out in business management, and I got a work study job in a local school helping tutor kids during the day for America Reads/America Counts. I was working with two students that were really struggling. I remember the day that one child I was working with finally got it. I [thought] that smile is something I want to see every day. I was like I got to change paths.

What teachers had the biggest influence in your life?

I was really lucky. I had a lot of teachers [at Edison] that really made in impact on my life. Probably the teacher that made the biggest impact was Maemi Dildy. She taught my pre-engineering courses. The impact and encouragement she had for us to really try pretty much anything was really big.

Also, Dan Schneider. He was my math teacher. The enthusiasm he had and the passion for us as students played a big role in the compassion I have as a teacher today.

How do you like teaching third grade? 

I love third graders. They are so fun. They are still curious and inquisitive, but they are starting to become ‘real people.’ They are starting to figure out what they like and what they don’t like. So much of that has come through what we learned in class – having to experience thinking about an opinion writing piece and what do you actual believe. It’s been a really fun transition to see them from the first of the year to the end of the year.

What skills are they developing in third grade?

I really think that they are learning critical thinking. They really have to start grappling with what they’re reading and the work that they’re doing. We’re really pushing them to do so. My class really focuses on writing and going beyond on what’s just expected. We really push the envelope.

We introduced them to planners and having nightly homework. It’s just the little steps from someone telling you every day ‘this what you have to do’ to having the ownership – this is my schoolwork; I am responsible for this. That’s a huge step they are taking this year.

How do you like Celia Clinton? 

I love Celia Clinton. This is a wonderful school. This is a hidden gem. We have dedicated teachers. Our students care. I almost have 100 percent attendance every day in my class. They want to be here, they want to learn, and their families are really encouraging. I will stay at a school where I am supported, and our kids are supported.

What should parents know about you and how to reach out?

There are a lot of avenues. I absolutely welcome parents into my classroom. They are welcome any day. They are welcome any time. I always encourage parents to come and catch their child being good in class, doing the right thing, getting to see them shine. I love when parents unexpectedly come visit the class.

There’s a myriad of ways. I have parents text me, parents call me, I do ClassDojo, I see them at pickup.

What are you looking forward to this year?

The science fair is [in March]. I’m super excited for us to dive in and spend time learning about the scientific process. They’ll each have to pick an experiment, and they’ll all participate. The whole school is participating.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I really enjoy sports. I love getting to watch my [younger siblings] participate in sports now. I love going to their sporting events. I ran cross country and track, and I played soccer. So, lots of running. I love to craft, but a lot of that goes into my classroom. I’m a big board games person. I love game nights. Friends with game nights are my favorite. Best Friday night.