Jordan Dudley – Science
Ms. Dudley grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia. She is a Chemistry and Animal Studies teacher at WAHS in her first year of teaching. She was a student-teacher during the 2021-2022 academic year at WAHS, so she is not completely new to the school. She received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon College where she played lacrosse, and received her Masters in Teaching from UVA.
Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: I like to go hiking. I have a dog and so we very much like our hikes. I love lacrosse. I very much like cooking.
Q: Tell us about your dog.
A: His name is Rip. He’s a black lab, but I call him dark chocolate because sometimes when the sun shines on him, he has red highlights and so he looks a little chocolatey. He’s pretty precious. He’s a little crazy, though.
Q: What inspired you to go into teaching?
A: My family. I come from a background of teachers. My mom’s a teacher, my grandfather was a teacher, so I came from a lot of teachers. I grew up in a very teacher-like community [in Rockbridge], I guess you could say. But I was always told you don’t need to be a teacher, so then I went and I majored in chemistry for undergrad, and then I decided that I didn’t really want to do anything else besides teach chemistry.
Q: What fascinates you so much about science that you want to teach it?
A: I think especially having taught chemistry last year a little bit, seeing how kids could apply chemistry to their life, and how they haven’t really thought about how chemistry is all around them. I think it’s super fascinating to see that light bulb go off in their head. They’re like, “whoa, even me cooking is chemistry, like starting your car.” It’s chemistry and we’re made of atoms, and that’s crazy.
Q: Does it feel different being at WAHS as a full-time teacher compared to a student-teacher?
A: As a student teacher, they don’t give you all the responsibilities. They just give you a little taste, and then when you’re a real teacher there’s everything and I’m like, “oh, okay, here we go.”
Q: What are some similarities and differences between your experience learning in the classroom and teaching?
A: I will say that when I was a student, I was probably not the greatest student. I had to try really hard to get good grades, it took a lot of effort and energy out of me to study and get good grades. Now, teaching and seeing the kids that can just come in and take a test and get an A and then also seeing these kids who struggle, it’s helped me make a good balance for my kids that I do see that they’re struggling. I can assist them and push them along with the resources that I used as a kid to get good grades. For my kids that are just getting good grades automatically I can go through and question them about the materials that they’re actually learning.
Q: What are your likes and dislikes of teaching teenagers?
A: My likes are that teenagers are hilarious, and everyone has so many different personalities and putting all these personalities in one classroom together is truly awesome. It’s just the funniest thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s great. My dislikes are teenagers’ love for phones, and sometimes it takes them a lot of energy to focus. Those are my only dislikes.
Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
A: I have been with the same partner since sixth grade.
Q: Did you go to a Virginia middle school where you met your partner?
A: Yes. I grew up in Rockbridge County. So just over the mountains. Sixth grade orientation, a slip ‘n slide party. He kicked me right off the slide and then that was it.
Q: What advice would you give to yourself in high school?
A: Don’t wish away your high school years.
Q: Did you feel like you wished away your high school years?
A: I feel like I was always like, “I can’t wait to go to college, I can’t wait to be an adult or I can’t wait to do all these things.” But now I’m like, oh, high school was so fun. I miss it. It’s true.