Years at ADEM prepared her to teach life science

Published 1:18 am Friday, August 17, 2018

Andalusia Junior High School’s new seventh grade science teacher, Missy Middlebrooks, is hoping to use her knowledge of her time in the field to make sure students appreciate life science.

Middlebrooks worked for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management as a scientist for 19 and a half years.

“My goal is to make sure that my students understand how important life science is,” Middlebrooks said. “Meaning that they respect their own bodies as well as the environment.”

Middlebrooks earned an environmental science degree from Auburn University in Montgomery.

“When I applied for the job, there were two spots open,” Middlebrooks said. “Physical science and life science, and I hopped on the life science spot because it is right in my wheel house.”

Middlebrooks was a part of the educational outreach section of ADEM and she believes that having been in that job will help her as she teaches.

“I think being in that position will help me while I teach,” Middlebrooks said. “That way I can refer back to past things that I saw in the field and show the kids that we do actually collect data and use the scientific theory.”

Middebrooks said that her goal for this year is to make sure that the students understand the curriculum.

“One thing that I don’t want to do is to just give tests because of a grade,” Middlebrooks said. “I want them to understand the material, and if that means going back and reviewing material then I will do just that.”

Making sure that she balances teaching with her personal life is what Middlebrooks said her biggest challenge will be this year.

“It is what all teachers deal with,” Middlebrooks said. “But with this being my first year I want to make sure that I have everything under control.”

Middlebrooks said that the thing she is looking forward to the most is getting everything in order at the school so she can focus on teaching.

“I am ready to know all of the administrative things to teaching and get that out of the way,” Middlebrooks said. “That I way I can focus on teaching and prepare my students the best way that I can.”

Middlebrooks is from Eclectic, Ala., but is excited to make the move to Covington County. Her husband, Chad Middlebrooks, recently was named associate pastor of First Baptist Church.

“My family and I have just been overwhelmed by the hospitality of the community,” Middlebrooks said. “People here are so friendly it’s great.”

Outside of the classroom, Middlebrooks enjoys canoeing, kayaking and spending time with her family and friends.

The Middlebrooks have two children and one grandchild.