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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Coleman

Stacey Pavlina: Going from Coaching to Teaching

Updated: Dec 16, 2022

Stacey Pavlina of Pisgah Elementary didn’t plan on teaching, but teaching found her. For many years, she coached sports but didn’t teach. However, it came as a natural next step for her because she sees coaching and teaching as very similar pursuits.

Stacey Pavlina wasn’t always a teacher, but she did love to learn and to read. After years of coaching, Stacey found herself in a classroom, and the fit is natural. She draws on her coaching background when creating her classroom atmosphere. She describes her classroom as controlled chaos, but she believes it’s incredibly important to offer her students autonomy in their learning.

Stacey’s teaching philosophy focuses on seeing the whole child. “The whole child needs to be entertained, looked at, and found out about to do the best job. That helps you reach the learners better,” she explained. Stacey does her best to let her students be leaders and fully invested in their own learning. If a student is good at something, Stacey wants them to take on leadership roles and help other students learn.

Fun is encouraged in Stacey’s classroom. “There’s time for work and time for play. We have to have both,” she said. “You get the passion and personality out of them.” She finds that humor helps her students in this regard because it gets them to drop the barriers and feel happy in the classroom.

Stacey is a self-professed lifelong learner. As a National Board Certified Teacher, Stacey is continually learning about her craft and perfecting what she does. In professional development, she looks for opportunities to be self-reflective and seek out others to mentor. “It’s way easier to do that than do everything by yourself,” said Stacey.

The approach that Stacey uses in her classroom is the same one that she takes in her professional development. She sees the value of collaboration and wants her students to have the same outlook. To get them invested, she makes sure that if she asks anything of her students, she asks the same of herself.

Photos courtesy of Stacey Pavlina

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