Danielle Berry is a middle school teacher at California Connections Academy. She began her teaching career in 1998 and has been teaching at Connections Academy since 2015. She received her master’s degree in education with a cross-cultural emphasis, and a bachelor of science degree in sociology. Ms. Berry shares more about her story below.
“I became a teacher because learning should be fun, and it is very rewarding when an educator can help students successfully ‘connect the dots.’ While teaching mostly middle school science and social studies, my instructional style has always been quite interactive in an attempt to engage all learners. Even before securing my initial teaching credential, I worked as an instructional Title I aide, hosting English Learner sessions. I have a background in administration too, previously serving as a vice principal in a private school setting.
I love teaching at California Connections Academy because of the phone conversations I have with students and their parents. I also love attending the many field trips we offer to make those connections in person! I am able to make more personal and enduring connections with students and their families than I could ever make while working in a brick-and-mortar setting. My contact with families is much more frequent and productive through LiveLesson room meetings and phone conversations. In a brick-and-mortar setting, there are time constraints—contact with teachers is very limited. We are called Connections Academy for a reason!
Our school prepares students for the future because they are able to practice speaking to and communicating with adults, which helps them gain the confidence they need in real-world settings. Even students who are initially shy about interacting over the phone with their teachers start to blossom socially as well as academically. Frequent feedback we receive from parents is that their children are academically ahead of their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Parents, students, and staff alike often express that they feel very much a part of a family here. They tell us that they receive more support from, and feel more connected to, our teachers than they ever did at a brick-and-mortar school.”
Outside of teaching, Ms. Berry enjoys working out and traveling. She has zip-lined in Alaska, swum in the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, explored ancient ruins in the Middle East, and recently toured the British Isles via cruise ship.
I am able to make more personal and enduring connections with students and their families than I could ever make while working in a brick-and-mortar setting.