Yoga Instructor Turned Middle School Health Teacher Awarded Golden Apple

WAUKEE, Iowa -- Some educators say they were born to teach but for a first-year teacher in the Waukee Community School District, figuring out her passion in life took her on an unconventional route.

Tiffany Thomas-Killam teaches eighth grade health at Prairieview School. Although, this is her first year in the classroom she is no stranger to teaching.

"Before teaching here. I was a yoga teacher," she smiles.

In tune with her mind, body and spirit the relaxing vibes she once brought to the yoga studio are now being implemented in her classroom.

"It's really neat to incorporate the mindfulness of yoga , love and kindness and all those other little pieces that people don`t know about yoga," Thomas-Killam says.

Physical wellness isn't just the focus of her health class but mental wellness too. Thomas-Killam asked her students to sign a classroom social contract at the beginning of the year promising the vulnerable moments shared in the class will stay in the class. "It's  just really special within every class the vulnerability they have with one another and the trust they have for one another."

Principal Juley Murphy-Tiernan says it's a relief knowing her most recent hire is a good fit. She says, "They can`t wait to get to her class. I heard that every day from kids and that`s a good thing." Murphy-Tiernan adds, Thomas-Killam's teaching style is one that embodies the mission of the school.

"We spent a lot of time creating a place that is caring and understanding and supports kids. Every day is something different so we understand the importance of accepting kid."

Acceptance is something the teacher is learning for herself as she takes on a new kind of teaching experience.

"I think it says more about the kids , how forgiving they are. How much grace they give me. They really do."

Thomas-Killam was awarded the Golden Apple on January 29th.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.