By Amanda Compton
The oldest of seven siblings, Raina Norman knows a thing or two about leading by example and the responsibility that comes with mentoring and molding young minds in the way of the Lord. She also happens to be quite passionate about God's creation, particularly how science assists students in seeing His purposeful design - down to the smallest, most complex of cell functions.
"Science was always the subject that fascinated me most growing up," said Norman, who joined Twin Oaks as the new middle school science teacher on January 4. "I think that it is important because it helps us to better understand God as the creator and gives us a greater appreciation for the intricate details that exist in everything."
Norman's goals are to build connections with and between students, inspire a greater understanding and appreciation for science and provide students with educational memories that will last for years to come. "I love building relationships," she said, "By gathering a better understanding of each student as a learner, I can provide a learning environment and experience that is more suitable for all."
Norman went on to note that she really enjoys engaging students in learning experiences that are intriguing, inspire critical thinking and connect to real world scenarios. She is also a huge supporter of students learning through their peers using discussion and life experiences.
"Raina impressed me from the start," said TOCS Head of School Kendall Brewer. "Her passion for education stood out to me instantly, but was affirmed through many conversations with her. She has received praise from her mentor teacher and university supervisor for her innovative use of technology, her mastery of science content knowledge, and her relational approach to teaching. We can't wait to see how she infuses her classroom with creativity!"
Prior to joining Twin Oaks, Norman completed her student teaching at Ladue Middle School and taught preschool part-time at Cadence Academy in Chesterfield. It was during this time that she ran across the open position at TOCS. Having connections close to the school who had told her of the enriching environment that Twin Oaks offers, she felt the Lord's nudge to move swiftly to apply for the science position.
When asked what ignited her passion for Middle School science, she said, "I was very fortunate to have several amazing teachers who inspired me and continue to encourage and motivate me. These teachers, along with many confirmations from God, led me to pursue teaching so that I can be a similar influence on the next generation."
Norman earned an Associate of Arts in Teaching from St. Charles Community College before moving on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She currently attends Missouri Baptist University where she became certified to teach science for Grades 5-9 this past December and will graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching this August.
Raina has five sisters and one brother. She attends Destiny Church, where she has served both in the nursery and as a youth leader,
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and going thrifting. She also has a passion for travel, especially if it involves a beach. Her creative outlets include Bible journaling and making clay earrings.
Raina's favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. "This verse brings me comfort in the power of God's love for me and also reminds me to always strive to be a loving influence in this world," she added.
Join us in welcoming Raina to our Twin Oaks Christian School family!
Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church