An English language arts teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo ISD, Peeples writes: “It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love, the ad said about the Peace Corps, but it’s also a perfect slogan to describe my relationship with teaching and learning. Teaching chose me, but I tried everything I could think of to avoid its call: disc jockey, medical assistant, pet babysitter for the rich, journalist, and finally, finally a teacher.” Her fear of teaching was a fear of connecting to pain in her own life. Luckily, Peeples had teachers who encouraged her to see that there was life outside of her own personal struggles, and she was drawn to teaching to do the very same thing for others. “My students, survivors of deep and debilitating trauma, have shaped the kind of teacher I am. Books, I tell them, help us find our way out of the forest, so to speak, and help us make peace with our past while showing us the promise of a multitude of futures. And so, in a sense, I sell hope to my students.”

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2016 Texas Teacher of the Year

Texas Assoc of School Admin PRO

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