Meet Deanna Bunch, M.Ed

Share a little bit about yourself! Where are you from and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up in Garland, Texas, but all of my relatives lived in Oklahoma.  I always wanted to live on a farm here. My husband’s grandparents died and the farm was given to us. There is no place I would rather be.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

I became a teacher because I had a sixth grade teacher named Mrs. Moore. She had no idea that my dad had left my mom with five children, with me being the oldest. I took care of the others so my mom could work two jobs to support  us. Mrs. Moore knew I needed some TLC and definitely showed that she believed in me to do whatever I put my mind to do. I became a voracious reader and I wanted to honor her by doing for other children what she did for me. I have never said, “I have to go to work.” It is always, “I get to go to school.”

Where did you attend college?

I attended Richland Junior College and earned an Associates of Arts degree.  When we moved to Durant, Oklahoma, I attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University and earned my Bachelor’s degree. Then, I went on to achieve a Master’s Degree in the Reading Specialist program. It is my belief that Reading is the ocean upon which every other subject floats… even Math has word problems!

How many years have you been teaching?

This is my 27th year of teaching.

What grades and subjects are you currently teaching?

I am currently teaching 8th grade ELA – Reading and Language Arts combined in a block class.

I get to share the OERB curriculum with other teachers as well as talk with them about their own experiences in the classroom. I learn something new every time.

What else do you enjoy doing besides teaching? Any hobbies

I love plants!  I raise orchids, African violets, anthuriums, and then take in “rescue” plants from others to nurse back to health. We also have a huge garden every year. I enjoy canning many of the things we grow as well making homemade jams.

What is your favorite part of the OERB curriculum?

My favorite part is Rhetoric. I love teaching the figures of speech that make writing come alive. I also help students to see what is being said in a text of a speech; and more importantly, what is not being said or spoken to the audience.

Do your students have a favorite lesson in the OERB curriculum you teach? 

My students enjoy Detail and Tone because I do my best to make it fun.

I always start off the lesson by asking them to define “tone” in writing. Many times I don’t get an answer right away.  That is when I remind them as middle school students, they definitely have a “tone” when they speak which is usually the one that gets them in trouble when they use it. This usually lightens the “mood” which also goes along with tone and the details used to create it. I love Teacher Humor.

What is your favorite part about OERB HomeRoom? 

My favorite part is all of the resources we have available to help with lessons, such as how each lesson is constructed with assessments and student worksheets, as well as standards being provided with each lesson. There is also Lab time with Leo! Anytime humor is involved in a lesson, I have found that students remember the details of the lesson better.

Share a favorite moment during your teaching career? 

I have so many!  One of my favorites is when I taught high school and a student came up before graduation and gave me one of his baby shoes with a note inside. Before I even read the note, I asked him if his mother knew he had given me this shoe. After he said yes, I read the note where he thanked me for having taught him to take “baby steps” first in learning the concepts in English, and then how to run so that he made an A. Yes, I cried. I have to add that he now lives in Florida and is a very successful businessman.

 I stepped out of my comfort zone this year when I asked my students what I could do to help them remember the correct format for writing paragraphs for an expository essay. Their reply – “Mrs. Bunch. Would you write us a rap about it?” I did exactly. I performed it in class and even gave a mike drop at the end. I don’t plan to quit my day job, but I have to say that it was fun!

Any additional information you want to share with us?

This year has been a challenging year; and yet, I have seen teachers rise to the occasion and do what is in the best interest of their students. That is what the heart of a great teacher is all about,  and I have met some of the best that Oklahoma has to offer.It is one of the best things about becoming a Master Teacher for OERB. I get to share the OERB curriculum with other teachers as well as talk with them about their own experiences in the classroom. I learn something new every time.