Name: Bridget Montoya
School & District: Flowing Wells High School, Flowing Wells School District
Grade(s) you teach: 9-12th Grades
How many students in your class(es) this academic year? 126
How long have you been a teacher? This is my 21st year
What made you get into the teaching profession? I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was the little girl who played teacher with friends in the neighborhood growing up. I wanted to be in a profession that makes a difference.
Who was your most inspirational teacher & why? My mom. She became a teacher when I was in 4th grade after going back to school to get her teaching degree. She eventually became a principal before she retired. She often reminded me (and still does) that kids deserve 2nd, 3rd, or more chances.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers in Arizona face right now? Teacher shortage, perception of teacher roles, large class sizes, school funding.
How do these issues affect your day-to-day? Last year, I didn’t have a plan hour because we opted to split up the classes so that students didn’t have a long-term sub for a missing math teacher. It’s also sad to see public comments on social media posts about what people “really think” about teachers and public schools.
What does the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers mean to you? It is a nice gesture. As a high school teacher, I don’t often go over that $250 by choice now most years, but as an elementary teacher, I would regularly go over that amount.
How are the expectations of becoming a teacher different from reality? I think new teachers don’t realize how much “outside of class” work goes into teaching. It is harder for new teachers to realize how much planning in advance needs to be done, but also with flexibility in mind for the potential for changing plans.
Why do you think, teachers burn out so quickly? I think there’s a lot of negative out there surrounding public perception of what teachers do (or don’t do) which can be draining. I think too there is constant change in how things should be done. There are a lot of “extras” on teachers’ plates. It can also be challenging to meet the social-emotional needs of students while also meeting the demands of teaching the curriculum.
Do you typically feel appreciated or recognized as a teacher? This year… wholeheartedly! I know that my administration appreciates me because they tell me.
What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty? My family. My hobbies.
What are some of the most thoughtful & effective ways parents & the community can show gratitude? Honestly, a simple email or thank you card.
What is your wish for Arizona’s children? That each child receives the best education with a dedicated teacher. I want them to become well-rounded, thoughtful, productive members of society because of what they learned in their classrooms.
What is/are your FAVORITE…
– Color? Blue or purple
– Food/restaurant? Wild Garlic Grill or El Charro
– Music/group/artist? Kane Brown
– Sport/athletics team? Soccer-Real Madrid, and University of Arizona team
– Pastime/hobby? Soccer, Crafts, Reading, Baking