Teacher Feature: Donna Plunkett

Donna Plunkett, Lower School Science teacher, believes in the value of getting her hands dirty. Her love for wildlife (snakes, lizards, turtles and spiders) is evident in her classroom decor and in her approach to teaching. In her 35 years at Donoho, she has inspired students to roll up their sleeves and embrace all the wonders that wildlife has to offer. Mrs. Plunkett loves to bring science to life for her students.

Q. Why do you like teaching at The Donoho School?
A: Donoho students are enthusiastic. They love to learn. Donoho allows me to take these students outside the classroom and give them experience and memories that will make for true learning.

Q. What is a unique experience, talent, or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
A. I was born to be a teacher. As a child, I brought home my school workbooks to teach the neighborhood kids. My dad even made a huge blackboard for me. l still enjoy learning new things. My summer vacations often consist of teacher workshops, so I usually bring back something new and exciting to use in class. I also like to incorporate art into the science classroom. I love turtles, snakes, even spiders! My students are always impressed that I’m not afraid to handle anything that isn’t poisonous or venomous.

Q. What’s your favorite part about your role at Donoho?
A. My job is never stagnant or boring. I get to take my students on field trips and outings that keep us all interested. Science is so vast and Donoho allows me to have “teachable moments” with my students. I get to let them get dirty, go for a hike, experience sustainable gardening. I have great flexibility in covering my objectives and standards. This freedom makes learning fun.

Q. What have you learned as a teacher?
A. I have been at Donoho so long that I’m now teaching “grand-students.” The students may not always remember the individual science lessons, but they will remember the experiences they had with me. I’ve also learned that it is so nice to become friends with my students when they become adults!