About Bridgit Moore
Bridgit Moore (@MooreBridgit) is the Leadership teacher and Activity Director for Grace Davis High School. She has been an educator for 20 years and has done a variety of positions such as math and psychology teacher, school counselling, and coaching.
She is married and has 4 kids ages 9, 10, 14, and 16, and this year, opened up her house to a 15-year-old exchange student from Germany. She loves her job and loves helping inspire students to be leaders!
**Please note that all of our transcriptions come from rev.com and are 80% accurate. We’re grateful for the robots that make this possible and realize that it’s not a perfect process.
Sam Demma (00:00):
This is your host and youth speaker, Sam Demma. Today’s special guest on the podcast is Bridgit Moore. Bridgit Moore is the leadership teacher and activity director for Grace Davis high school. She has been an educator for 20 plus years and has done a variety of positions, such as math and psychology teacher school, counselor, and coaching. She is married and has four kids age 9, 10, 14, and 16. And this year has a 15-year-old exchange student living with her from Germany. She loves her job and enjoys helping and inspiring students to become the best leaders they possibly can. I hope you enjoy this interview with Bridgit. I will see you on the other side, Bridgit. Welcome to the high-performing educator podcast. Huge pleasure to have you on the show here today. Why don’t you start by introducing yourself?
Bridgit Moore (01:36):
Well, my name is Bridgit Moore and I am a leadership teacher and activities director at Grace Davis high school in Modesto. I have been teaching since 2001. I started out as a math teacher. I actually did do activities that my very first teaching position for a couple of years, but then when I switched schools in 2003 to the school I’m currently at I kind of went out of that role, but I’ve taught math. I’ve taught psychology. I’ve been a school counselor and I’m going on my fifth year now in a row of being the activities, director leadership teacher, which I love. It’s a lot of fun.
Sam Demma (02:16):
That’s awesome. And what, like what brought you to where you are today? Like if you had to go back in time to when you were a student, you know, growing up, kind of tell me the progression of how it went from growing up as a student to getting involved or interested in education and then becoming a teacher.
Bridgit Moore (02:33):
So when I was a student, I kind of always had this feeling of, I want to be a teacher. I would go back and forth between, I want to be a teacher or I want to be a Marine biologist or I want to be a teacher or I want to be I don’t know, I can’t even remember some of the other stuff, but it always came back to wanting to be a teacher. So I finally settled on that. I was a very involved student. I liked getting involved. I was involved in dance production. I was in a whole bunch of clubs. I was in the Raleigh club. They had that at the time. Just various things. I was involved in sports. So I just kind of was always a very involved student. I wasn’t actually in student council when I was a student, but I got involved in homecoming floats and things like that when I was actually attended Davis high school, the school that I work at.
Bridgit Moore (03:24):
So I’m an alumni working at the school, but I went to kind of fun. So I did that. And then when I got to college I had a hard time picking a major. So I did settle on psychology and I thought, oh, well maybe I want to be a school counselor at some point, but I still kind of went back to, I want to teach, took a while to figure out what I wanted to teach and realized, well, I’m pretty good at math. So let’s do that. So I, I, I did major in psychology because I picked math kind of late in my college education career and graduated from UC Davis with my degree in psychology and then wanted to go right into my teaching credential, but I didn’t have enough subject matter competency in math based on what I took at UC Davis. So I went back to Stan state and took a bunch of math classes. And I guess I kind of say I double majored. Cause I took all of the classes for a math major. I just don’t have a piece of paper that says math degree.
Bridgit Moore (04:33):
I have one that says psychology, but I literally have every class that would constitute a math degree. So I did that after my psych degree at UC Davis, I got all the math classes done at Stan. And then I did my teaching credential at San. And then my first teaching job was at Waterford high school and I was offered an 80% math position, but they said, oh, but we can make you a hundred percent if you’re the activities director and teach leadership. So I got one period of leadership there and was the activities director. So I mean, it was fun, but it was a very small school and I was a new teacher. So it was kind of a struggle. But at the time I was also coaching at Davis high where I currently work at the same time. I was coaching diving at the time because I was you know, a big diver back in the day, did gymnastics and diving.
Bridgit Moore (05:29):
And so when I came over here to Davis teaching, they recruited me to come over, Hey, you’re already coaching here, come teach here. We need math teachers. And it was when there was a big boom in education back in 2003, the schools were growing and there were just a ton of kids. So I came over here and just ever since I started teaching at Davis because I was invested in activities at my previous school and because I was very involved student, I just kind of naturally got involved in things. I was the advisor for our fast club, PHAST protecting health and slamming tobacco was kind of a big program. I did that for nine years. We put on red ribbon week and different tobacco prevention days and things like that. We won the Stanislaus county red ribbon week contest a couple of times. So that was pretty fun. And then I also helped out with the programs every 15 minute program where we stage a crash, like a drunk driving crash scene on campus. So I would help with people putting that on and I would help with this activity or that activity. Well, when this position became available, it just kind of seemed like a natural fit because of all the things I had already helped with. Now I’m in charge of that’s kinda what led me to what I do now.
Sam Demma (06:53):
That’s awesome. And for someone who doesn’t understand what a student activity director is and does, like, how do you, how do you explain that role?
Bridgit Moore (07:02):
Okay. So the way I explain it is this, cause this was a very strange role and I’m very alone in my role at my site. Every buddy that has this position, it’s done differently at different schools, but at my site, I’m a hundred percent activities and I teach the zero period as my optional class. I get paid a little extra for that for my leadership and it’s, I oversee the student council. So anything that’s not academic and not a sport is under my umbrella. So like student mentor programs, all the clubs. So like the activity or the athletics director oversees all the sports and the coaches. So I would oversee all the clubs and the club advisors. That’s one piece of mine. I, I helped put on that. Like I said, that every 15 minute program, or I’m also in charge of helping with just overall school culture and helping build up positive school culture within the school climate and coming up with ideas and leading committees on that all the different activities that my leadership kids put on. I’m kind of the background I’m in the, I’m the, the person doing all those things, that kind of thing.
Sam Demma (08:17):
Okay, cool. And when you were growing up, did you have educators in your life that kind of steered you towards teaching? Or where did that initial passion come from to want to be a teacher?
Bridgit Moore (08:29):
It’s kind of funny because as I went through school, the grade or age I was, that was the type of teacher I wanted to be. So, you know, fifth grade, I loved my fifth grade teacher, so I wanted to be a fifth grade teacher, sixth grade, oh, I love sixth grade, my sixth grade. Teacher’s awesome. I’m going to be a sixth grade teacher. Once I got into high school, I kind of struggled with exactly what I wanted to teach still because I science and I loved math and I love this and that. So it wasn’t just one particular teacher. I don’t think I just really loved the idea of teaching. And I had several different teachers in my life that I looked up to. I had a very distinct English teacher, my senior year, who I would never want to teach English, but just the way she taught her class was very inspiring ahead as particular math teacher who, you know, I still remember the circles, the perfect circles that he would draw on the board. Like we would all just blow our mind. He would do a circle and it would be super fast and it would be perfect and the whole class would go crazy.
Sam Demma (09:38):
Wait, wait, is this the guy on YouTube that that’s like 4 million views or something? And he draws a perfect circle?
Bridgit Moore (09:45):
That tired at this point, so.
Sam Demma (09:48):
Oh, okay, cool. That’s awesome. That’s so that’s all amazing.
Bridgit Moore (09:53):
Yeah. He would play chess with us and he wouldn’t be looking at the board. He would just like, look at us and we would be playing chess against him and he wasn’t, he just had the board memorize. So things like that. He’s very inspiring and was kind of, you know, it’s very nerdy math teacher, but very inspiring that teacher and very memorable.
Sam Demma (10:15):
Yeah. Super memorable. It sounds like that’s so cool. You mentioned that your English teacher, the way she taught was really inspiring as well. What about that class kinda stuck out to you?
Bridgit Moore (10:25):
He was very she was very strict, but she had a system, you know, it was very similar every day. She went over this, she had a for vocab we’re on the board and we had to make sure we looked that up and then she would tell stories about mythology and then she would go into some other things. So she had this system where it made things interesting because here we’re learning about these cool mythology stories, but then we’re turning around and learning about now, whatever other story they will. Things like that, that we had to do senior year. She just, she sat on her stool. She had different heels every day that were, I don’t think she ever wore the same pair of heels every day. So just little things about her, but then the way she taught the class, it made it. So, you know, you either thought she was really strict and you’re like, I don’t want to be in this class. Or you were like, this is the best teacher ever. I want to learn from her. She’s inspiring.
Sam Demma (11:26):
I like that. Not the self by 365 pairs of shoes. That’s so awesome. That’s amazing. And then why didn’t a university study university, your first teaching job you said was math.
Bridgit Moore (11:41):
Yeah. My first official teaching job was at a Brett. It was a brand new high school. They were just starting Waterford high school, super small town. And I was teaching algebra four periods of algebra. And then I had my one leadership class that was the fifth class that I taught.
Sam Demma (12:02):
Awesome. That’s so cool. And I’m sure activity directing from that school versus the one you’re in now looks a little bit different especially with COVID and things that have happened over the past two years. It was probably a little challenging for awhile. But what if you could tell your younger self advice, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now in the position?
Bridgit Moore (12:27):
Oh well, honestly, when I first did this position at my first high school, I had no idea what I was doing. So I think I would go back and tell my younger self read the ASB advisor manual, look at all the rules, make sure that you’re proactive in recruiting students who are passionate about leadership and putting on activities. It was, you know, we had a bunch of students, it was a very small school, was brand new. And so we had a very small group of students that were in leadership. And I guess I’ve been know really how to recruit students that were going to be passionate about that kind of thing. And so the students that I had in there, they struggled a little bit with wanting to get things done or wanting to do whatever or being creative. One of the kids that were in there were just kind of in their, for a title. And so it’s really important to get kids in this program because they do put on a lot of work and a lot of time you want kids that are truly passionate about what they’re doing and otherwise you’re going to be the one doing all the work.
Sam Demma (13:42):
Yeah. It makes sense. And what do you think look different about activities over the past two years than maybe three, four years ago because of the pandemic?
Bridgit Moore (13:52):
Oh, so, well, I mean, think about it. So before the pandemic, so go back to 2019, 2020, right? So at the beginning of that school year with like any other normal school year, we had a big event at the beginning of the school year. We had beginning of the school year advance where kids came and danced and we have our big homecoming events where we had royalty and his regressing up and planning activities at school and how to float and did all these things. Right. We had a, we had a winter formal event where the kids came, dressed up and got to do that dance. And then we’ve got to do the same thing for our winter homecoming. Well then COVID hits in March, boom promise, canceled. Every other dance that we have is canceled no more rallies for the rest of the school year.
Bridgit Moore (14:47):
My job at that point became social media market manager because everything that I was able or allowed to do was digital in online social media. So my position definitely shifted and changed right at the beginning, I had to learn all kinds of different programs. I had to learn how to do video editing, which I didn’t really know how to do very well. I had to learn how to compile different videos and helping use that to inspire students, not to lose heart. I mean, at the end of that first school year where COVID hit the, our district was not making kids super accountable for their work because they thought, oh, we can’t really make them accountable at this point. So a bunch of kids weren’t doing anything. And then how do you try to get them to do something, even leadership kits. So they were even losing heart. These are the, you know, the heart and soul of the school. And they’re getting all frustrated because they’re missing out on all the fun things they to do on plan. You know, we didn’t even have a in-person graduation that year.
Sam Demma (15:53):
Bridgit Moore (15:54):
Yeah. We recorded it and everything. So
Sam Demma (16:00):
Yeah, no, it’s, it’s funny. Same, same stuff happened. All the schools here and in an effort to help, I actually made like a graduating speech for like the graduating class of 2020. I ended up making more than 20, 21 as well because schools here were still shut down. But yeah, it seems like the past two years have been really difficult, but amongst the challenges I’m sure there’s some positives and I’m curious to know like what did work and what did go over well. And maybe some programs you ran or things that you think the school really enjoyed
Bridgit Moore (16:33):
Well with learning how to do all those different new media outlets. We did learn how to do some fun things. We did something called the five days of winning, leading up to Christmas or winter break. And a bunch of kids got up. We just posted a little thing on, Hey, comment on this. What’s your favorite Christmas movie. And then anybody that responded got put into a drawing and we got to post that drawing up on social media and the kids got subpoena fries, things like that. We wouldn’t have come up with, or for winter homecoming, we did a shoe box float parade. So we had all the leadership kids create shoe boxes based on the homecoming theme. And we created a spray or, you know, they can’t come to school and dress up. So for homecoming, we did dress up your Bitmoji.
Sam Demma (17:33):
And for those, and for those, for those people who are like, what the heck is a Bitmoji, you want to explain it real quick.
Bridgit Moore (17:39):
So a bit Moji is this digital character caricature of yourself that people create and you can send them in text messages and stuff like that. And I think it originated from Snapchat, but there’s this whole thing, this whole Bitmoji world and be classrooms and yada yada yada. So we got kids to dress up their Bitmoji or like create a digital background. So we had these kids that created these funny digital backgrounds and for an action adventure. One of them was like, action adventure. Since the thing was Netflix, I want to say. And so this kid had, it looked like a dinosaur was right there. And then she was like, made it look like she was in the movie screening. So that was kind of cool. So different creative ways to dress up. Quote unquote.
Sam Demma (18:29):
That’s so awesome. Yeah. It sounds like you guys got really creative Yeah. And try different things. And what is this year looking like so far?
Bridgit Moore (18:42):
This year is actually looking more like it did previously. You know, I know COVID cases are starting to come up again, but at this point our school is running and functioning close to a normal school year. So as far as my position and my students though, they are planning for a normal homecoming, you know, like what we’ve done in the past. And we got to put on one of our big beginning of the school year events. We just couldn’t allow people to dance at it, but we could do every other piece to it that we used to we’re doing activities at lunch, encouraging kids. The kids did our lunch rally. So they did it outside. This was the first week of school. And so they are getting, you know, they’re kind of being somewhat creative, but also going back to things that we’ve done in the past. So it is good. The kids feel refreshed and re invigorated. They’re, they’re getting excited to be able to do things like they used to do.
Sam Demma (19:47):
That’s awesome. Oh, that’s amazing. That’s really good to hear. And if, you know, I asked you advice on activities directed, like on your role as an activity director, overall, as an educator, there might be someone listening who’s getting into their first year of teaching. Like if you could give a first year educator a piece of advice or a couple of pieces of advice that you think would have been really helpful for you to hear when you first started what would those things be?
Bridgit Moore (20:12):
Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow experienced educators for help and advice. There’s gotta be at least one or two people at your school site. That’s willing to help you out because the first year is daunting. And I think the biggest thing that most educators struggle with when they first start out is how to manage their classroom. And that’s not really something they teach in the classes that they do in the credential program. For some reason, that’s not a class it’s not, oh, cluster management 1 0 1, no, they don’t have that. I don’t understand why they have all these other classes that they want you to take, but they don’t have that one. And that is probably the most important piece that you need to know to be able to actually do all those other things that you learn in the credential program. If you don’t have a functioning classroom, then you’re not going to be able to teach them anything.
Bridgit Moore (21:05):
So just getting advice and getting tips and tricks from different people. And then even just, if you pick one or two things that you like, that somebody else is doing and you implement them in your classroom, and then once you have that down, you go to the next thing. Okay. I really want to try to add this in or, or use this piece. Then you, you add that in and just little by little, they’ll get into a routine and they’ll figure it out for themselves, but also not to get discouraged that first year is hard. The second year is still hard, but a little easier if you don’t kind of really get into that full rhythm until maybe your third year, honestly, you know, it, it takes some time, so just be patient. And if it was your passion, just keep it up. Keep going.
Sam Demma (21:59):
That’s awesome. And if someone’s listening right now and liked any part of this interview and just wants to chat with you or reach out, or it would be the best way for them to do so.
Bridgit Moore (22:11):
Well they could email me, I guess. So my email I’ll give my personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sam Demma (22:26):
All right. Cool, Bridgit, thank you so much for coming on the show. Keep up the great work. I can’t wait to stay in touch and see what the rest of the year turns out to be like for you.
Sam Demma (22:39):
And there you have it. Another amazing guest and amazing interview on the high-performing educator podcast. As always, if you enjoy these episodes, please consider leaving a rating and review. So other educators like yourself can find this content and benefit from it. And here’s an exclusive opportunity that I mentioned at the start of the show. If you want to meet the guest on today’s episode, if you want to meet any of the guests that we have interviewed, consider going to www.highperformingeducator.com and signing up to join the exclusive network, you’ll have access to networking events throughout 2021 and other special opportunities. And I promise I will not feel your inbox. Talk to you soon. I’ll see you on the next episode.
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