New teacher on the block: An interview with Emily Donley

New teacher Emily Donley enjoying a cup of coffee before her first class of the day

Hannah Toth

New teacher Emily Donley enjoying a cup of coffee before her first class of the day

Hannah Toth, Contributing Writer

The start of the school year brings changes to the teachers at Solon. One of those teachers is American Sign Language teacher Emily Donley who shares her past experience and passion behind teaching. 

Q: Is this your first teaching job? 

A: No, this is not my first teaching job. I had a teaching job at another school district. This will be my third school and my fifth year of teaching. 


Q: Did you do a student teaching or shadowing if so, where? 

A: No, I did not do a student teaching in the area. I actually have a non traditional background in education. I got my undergraduate degree in American Sign Language with a focus on linguistics and cognitive science. And I pursued my alternate license in the state of Ohio. 


Q: What is something you learned from your experience thus far?

A: I would say that the biggest thing I’ve learned so far in my experience of teaching is to always have an open mind and be adaptable. 


Q:Why did you want to become a teacher in the first place? 

A: I always wanted to be a teacher, honestly. So I started out as a substitute teacher. That was the first school I worked at subbing and having the experience, just getting involved with the kids and being able to share what I was most passionate about and to install a passion just for learning in general was the driving force really for why I wanted to teach, and then getting those kids passionate about a subject area that they weren’t familiar with or realized was even an option to pursue was another reason. 


Q: What advice would you give other people who would want to start teaching?

A: If you want to start teaching, pick an area that you´re most passionate about and that you absolutely love so it’s never a day of work in your life. 

Past experience can help make teaching easier. In the case of Donley, she has past experience in a field she loves. This has helped her become passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge with many students in the area.