Teacher Feature: Debbie Paulsen

Introducing Debbie Paulsen, the friendly biology teacher at Cedar Falls High School, where everyone’s welcome and learning is a team effort. “All are welcome in my classroom,” Paulsen said cheerfully.

For her there’ve been many unforgettable moments such as when a snake decided to join the class, hiding in a desk cubby with some seriously old chocolate milk. Talk about a wild biology lesson!

Pauslen said she makes sure her students understand why they’re learning to keep them interested. “I tried to help them understand to see why we do it,” with real-world examples and student choices to keep things exciting.

Despite the challenges of a changing educational landscape, she stays chill. “While the needs of students and educational philosophy are always changing, I think it is changing at a much faster pace than ever before,” she said.

Sophomore Aleesha Smith said she appreciates Paulsen’s laid-back vibe. “She doesn’t get shouty with students, and her tone is always kind,” Aleesha said.

One time, Paulsen saved Smith’s turkey project from disaster. “She guided me through it so that I understood what I was doing and helped me to not fail,” Smith  remembered gratefully.

Smith said Paulsen is a great teacher because she respects her students and even lets them grab a snack when hungry.

Plus, she said Paulsen’s lessons are fun. “She makes it fun by adding prizes or playing fun games,” Smith said. 

In her class, learning’s not just about books—it’s about having a good time while you’re at it!

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