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Faculty Farewell: The Definition of Sunshine and Rainbows: Kerry Dalbey

You’re walking in the hallway, you’re having a bad day, you’re dragging your feet but then you hear someone say “HEY SWEETIE! THANKS FOR BEING HERE TODAY!” You look up and it’s Ms. Dalbey with the biggest smile on her face. 

As the year comes to an end, Ms. Dalbey is getting ready to leave the school. Now she is looking back at what got her into teaching in the first place. 

“I have lots of teachers in my family, when was younger I spent summers with my grandma, helping her out in the classroom, I never wanted to do anything else,” said Ms. Dalbey.

Ms. Dalby’s title is an instructional coach, which offers support in coaching teachers. However, Ms. Dalby wasn’t exactly that. 

“I taught Algebra One A for a semester since Lopez was deployed, and I have taught half a dozen Freshmen Orientation classes in the last two years. I enjoyed doing that, advocating for them, and working alongside them even though that is not what an instruction coach typically does. I am especially pulled to the Sophomore class, I feel like they need me more” said Ms. Dalbey. 

When discussing the hardest part about leaving the school, Dalbey began to become emotional. 

“My kids. I know they will be fine. They were fine before me and will be fine after me. There are so many kids that I want to be successful with, but the kids here I can coach and help them. My kids are across the spectrum, and I’m going to miss them and I want to know they are okay. I hope they know none of them are the reason I am leaving,” said Ms. Dalbey. 

Each experience in teaching is different. Whether it be a certain person that made a difference or a class. 

“There wasn’t one student that made an impact. All the connections I made with the kids are all super important to me. I am very proud of the connections made with kids. In terms of teachers, I would say my Kindergarten teacher. She was always really fun, positive, and upbeat. That was who she was and who I wanted to be,” said Ms. Dalby. 

To brighten the mood during the interview, I asked Ms. Dalbey if she was happy about leaving. 

“I’ll have more time to focus on my family, myself, and grow as a person,” said Ms. Dalbey. She added, “When thinking of what I love about MHS I think of teachers and staff. We have a lot of amazing teachers who truly care about kids and what’s best for them. I am going to miss so many people.”

I then asked her if she would do anything differently when looking at her teaching career. 

“No, I wouldn’t. I started as a preschool teacher and the first group that I had graduated in 2020. It’s really cool seeing them now, the roles are reserved for one of their worlds at my doctor’s office. We all want to be seen and valued for who we are and where we come from and I feel like having that at the beginning of my career has shaped who I am now. I loved seeing them grow up,” said Ms. Dalbey. 

Notably, there are some difficult struggles of teaching.

“One of the struggles that I had in this position is not internalizing student’s missteps, and not being able to save them all,” said Ms. Dalbey. 

To try to avoid hard times, Dalbey recommends practicing self-care and striving to find a healthy work-life balance. 

Ms. Dalbey isn’t sure what her next step is, all she knows is she’s going to enjoy herself. So when thinking of her leaving, remember she’s doing it for the better. 

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Kaitlyn Ford
Kaitlyn Ford, Sports Editor
Kaitlyn Ford is a Junior staff member for the Auroran Today at Muscatine High School! Outside of MHS, she loves to spend time with her friends or lay with her cat! Reading is a favorite hobby of hers and she has a big collection of books!
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