Adamson’s final lesson, a conversation about her career

Veteran English teacher reflects on her experiences as a teacher, what her McCallum experience has meant to her

DANCING QUEENS: IN March 2019, Adamson hosted the Teachers and Tiaras pageant, an annual fundraiser that director Ken Rogers stages as a fundraiser for cinematic arts program. In addition to hosting, Adamson performed a duet with pageant winner Nikki Northcutt. The duo did a karaoke version of “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. Adamson remembers it as one of her fondest McCallum moments. Both Adamson and Rogers retired from McCallum at the end of this school year.

Gaby Esquivel, host, audio engineer

In this episode of the S word podcast, English teacher Diana Adamson reflects on her years as a teacher and her upcoming retirement. Adamson’s mother was a music teacher and she would help her choreograph her next lessons and during that she observed how good her relationships with her students were and what an amazing teacher she was. This ultimately led Adamson to know that she wanted to be a teacher as well. She also credits her decision to teach English to her awesome English teacher she had in senior year and her college professor and poetry teacher, Margaret McBride.

“She was a phenomenal poetry teacher and it was her class that made me go wait a minute that’s what I want to do” Adamson said. “I want to teach English, I want people to get excited about language, and I felt a lot of doors open through the keys of poetry.”

One of the reasons Adamson has loved to teach English is to get her students to open their minds and examine why a certain piece of writing is written in a certain style.

“It’s crafted. The author crafts that on purpose” Adamson said. “You know nothing is ever done unintentionally, and so I really like to make my students think about that, ‘Why does the author do that? Why does the author call attention to this?”

Adamson has been the English department chair since 2014 and though she admits it has been difficult because she wants to make sure she advocates for her colleagues appropriately.

“Being the bearer of bad news is hard,” Adamson said, “and I feel really fortunate [that] our department is very strong and [our] people really care about teaching and how it affects the kids, and I think that’s really good.”

To learn from my students is important. My students teach me as much as I teach them, and I love hearing brand new ideas.

— Diana Adamson

Her favorite part of being a teacher has always been the students. She has loved watching her students get excited and building connections with them. Though she knows that she can be strict at times, Adamson knows she is always there for her students and treats them as she treats her own kids.

Over her teaching career the most important thing Adamson has learned from her students is perspective and being open to new and previously unimagined ideas.

“So perspective [and] being able to look at things differently and to accept the fact that my students teach me as much as I teach them, and I love hearing brand new ideas and that kind of process, just to learn from my students is important.”

The choice to retire was difficult for Adamson, but she admits that she does not want to be a teacher that is so tired that she doesn’t teach properly. Adamson looks forward to having more time on her hands and not being stressed out anymore.

“Teaching is really stressful and it’s gotten even more stressful in the past few years and so I’m looking forward to [not having so much stress].” Adamson said. “I also want to take more history classes. I just want to have more time in my head, I don’t know if that makes sense, but I am looking forward to working fewer hours a week.”


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