Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Dirling

Elliot Younes (Freshman)

Ms. Dirling is known for a few things to her students: her humor, her candidness, and her BFF status with Mr. Collinger. The Eagle Times wanted to know more about Ms. Dirling, so we interviewed her. Some fun facts about her are that she owns a dog named Meatball Spaghetti Noodle Dirling, she donated 8 ft of hair to Wigs for Kids in her 20’s, and she cut her finger off in 11th grade. Read more about Ms. Dirling in this month’s Teacher Spotlight!

Ms. Dirling started her teaching career off at Central Cambria, which is located in Ebensburg, PA, a little East of Pittsburgh. She also taught as a long-term sub at South Fayette. Ms. Dirling would work alternative education at Bethel Park in the evenings and at Sleepy Hollow Academy, an all-girls residential facility during the day. After all of that she got hired by PPS. She first worked at Westinghouse before arriving at Obama 5 years ago. She has been teaching for 11 years. When asked what her favorite part about Obama was, Ms. Dirling replied, “My bestie, Mr. Collinger!” The two teachers have adjacent classrooms and share the chemical storage room. She continues, “. . .my kids are the reason I show up. I grew up knowing that I wanted to be a teacher and it’s because I like teaching and more importantly learning from my students.” 

Although she tries to keep a positive mindset, Covid has made it harder to teach biology. She couldn’t do any labs with her classes.  “I typically like to do labs so that students have an experience where they apply the concepts we have learned in class to real life applications.” Not being able to do that has definitely taken a toll on her student’s motivation. Ms. Dirling is planning to take her Sports class to view open heart surgery as an interesting way to close out the year.

Lastly, Ms. Dirling wants others to realize that we don’t value youth like we should and that it is essential to teach kids to think critically and become problem solvers. She tries her best to encourage and empower students to show their individual talents while working together. She hopes to continue succeeding as a teacher while she considers going back to school for a PhD in Educational Leadership.

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