October 6, 2020
She graduated as a Wakeland Wolverine, but after attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University, algebra teacher Maddie Coday is a Redhawk in her first year on campus. Recently, Wingspan sat down with Coday to learn more about one of the math department’s newest faces.
Wingspan: What jobs did you have before becoming a teacher?
Coday: “The only other job I’ve had is working in the children’s ministry at my church, which I did throughout high school. Even throughout college on weekends that I didn’t have games, because I was on the cheer team at my school, I would come back up and still work on the weekends. While I was at school, I had a job there and it was a position called a student mentor and basically, I was like a tutor to other students.”
Wingspan: Is teaching living up to your expectations, how is it different from what you expected?
Coday: “Teaching is living up to my expectations as in, I am loving the job, but it is very different from what I expected it to be. I wasn’t expecting to be teaching virtually at all. For one thing, I am so not a techy person, so it’s been a little difficult for me. I never expected to be a virtual teacher, I always thought I would just have kids in my classroom, and now I’m doing stuff online.”
Wingspan: Being fresh out of college, do you think you get the same respect other teachers do?
Coday: “I think I do, I would think. I’m not totally sure because I haven’t been in a lot of other teachers’ classrooms, but based on the ones I have been in I would say that I do. It’s not necessarily about your age. I think it’s about the attitude and maturity, and respect that you set forth, and then that’s the respect that you get back.”
Wingspan: You’re still young, so is it hard to keep a healthy balance between your social life and school?
Coday: “Yes, it definitely has gotten a lot harder. In college, it was a lot easier because I was surrounded by a bunch of young adults all the time. There was always stuff going on, and stuff to do, and I could stay up late. Now I’m going to bed at like 9:30. It’s definitely harder, but I make time for that stuff. On Monday nights I set aside a couple of hours, I tell myself I’m not going to work on school stuff. I actually play ultimate frisbee with my Young Life group. We usually do movie, or game nights on Friday nights too. I try to keep a good balance between my social life, and my work life, because it’s healthy, and if I didn’t keep some of the social I would go insane.”
Wingspan: You said you were a cheerleader earlier, do you still do anything like that?
Coday: “I don’t, I’m not involved in any sports or athletic teams now. The only thing I do is playing sports for fun, like ultimate frisbee, but other than that no.”
Wingspan: Have you always wanted to teach high school students, or were you ever considering younger kids?
Coday: ”So I actually was planning on teaching middle school, until my student teaching. My student teaching was my last semester of college. I requested a middle school, then I just got placed here at Liberty. I was actually here in the spring when we did have school going on normally. I was student teaching with one of the other math teachers. High school was never actually my plan, it just worked out that way, and once I was student teaching I just ended up loving high school, and the high school age, and teaching older kids. So it was never my plan, it just worked out this way, and I’m glad that it did!”
Wingspan: Has teaching always been your dream job, or did you have other ideas of what you wanted to do?
Coday: “When I was younger I switched around all the time. I do cake decorating kind of as a hobby, and on the side, it’s also like another job, but I really only get to do that when we have time off of school, because I would spend multiple days decorating one cake, or one order. So that was a dream of mine, maybe to open up a bakery. I also wanted to own my own clothing store. Before teaching I really wanted to be some sort of entrepreneur or business owner, but once I got to college I decided on education.”
Wingspan: What was the hardest lesson you had to learn in college?
Coday: “One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn in college, and also in teaching, is that I have always been a perfectionist. It’s actually something that you wouldn’t think is such a bad thing, but it’s definitely one of my downfalls because I won’t stop working on something until I think it’s perfect. I also am the type of person where once I have something on my plate or something on my to-do list, I want to get rid of those things as fast as possible. I’ll stay up until like midnight working on things that I need to do when really they aren’t due, or I don’t need to have them done till like the next week, but if it’s on my plate or something that I know that I have to do, and it’s on my mind I’m gonna do it right then and there. So the lesson I have kinda had to learn is giving myself Grace, so within perfectionism knowing that it’s okay for it not to be 100 percent perfect. Also giving myself grace with the timing of things, like writing it in my to-do list, but maybe not getting it done that day.”