One In a Million – Hayley Chipley


One In A Million Feature Questions


Name: Hayley Chipley

School: Madrid Neighborhood School

Grade: 5th and 6th grade

How long have you been a teacher?
This is my first year as a teacher. I am still in school to get my teaching degree but I am
emergency certified.

What made you get into the teaching profession?
The reason I got into the teaching profession was because my mom and aunt were
teachers while I was growing up. I remember I loved visiting my mom’s school and
classroom so much. Growing up I loved playing “school” with my sister during our summer

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why?
My most inspirational teacher was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Long. During
kindergarten and 1st grade I attended a different school than I did for 2nd grade and
above. When I got to 2nd grade I was not reading but by the time I left I was on track.
She worked so hard to get me to read. The fact that she did that with every single
student in our class inspires me still to this day. The fact that I can inspire just one
student is what makes me show up everyday.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers in Arizona face right
One of the biggest challenges for teachers in Arizona right now is an obvious one…
Covid. Covid has changed education and our students. I was not a teacher before covid
so I can’t speak to what it was like before, however, I see the effects from the changes.
Second grade was the last time my fifth grade students had a normal school year. Think
about the age of a second grader; they are seven. Emotionally, academically, and
mentally my students are now about third graders. That being said, I am still
responsible for teaching 5th grade content. We had lots of supplemental curriculum
but we get the job done.

Another challenge I think Arizona teachers face is how fast the profession is changing.
Because I’m still in college, my classes talk about things that teachers at a school might
not be talking about. One of those things are about laws that are currently being
passed that have to do with education. It is surprising to me how little education laws
are talked about. When I bring up a law that I learned about in one of my college
classes a lot of teachers have no idea what I’m talking about. This is scary because it
has to do with the profession that we are in and it is changing without us even knowing

How do these issues affect your day to day?
The effects from covid affect my day today more than anything. Everyday is another
chance to help my students catch up and reach the level they need to reach. It has
influenced the way I run my classroom as well. I add a lot of additional material to the
curriculum that I’m teaching so that I can meet the students where they are. That being
said, it takes us a little bit longer to get through things but, at least, I know my students
are understanding the content. As far as teaching being a changing profession, it
affects my day today because I’m still in school to get my teaching degree. A lot is
uncertain and a lot of laws being passed affect teaching and I don’t even have my
teaching degree yet.

What does the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers mean to you?
I think the $250 tax deduction for school supplies for teachers is a step in the right
direction, however, it’s nowhere near what teachers deserve. It’s a nice gesture and I
appreciate it but a lot more than $250 has gone into my classroom in the past couple
months and it has come out of my pockets.

How are the expectations of becoming a teacher different than the reality?
To be completely honest, teaching is harder than I ever imagined it would be. Like a lot
harder. I have an interesting perspective on this question because I am still in school to
get my teaching degree. You don’t hear about how hard teaching is going to be in
college. While you are getting your degree, all you’re worried about is passing and
surviving that period of time. All the videos you watch and the classes you observe are
the best of the best And there’s nothing wrong with that. We should be learning from
the best of the best. But they never show you the harder side. With that being said I
wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is my favorite thing I’ve ever done and I’m so glad I
made the decision to become a teacher. It’s where I am meant to be.

Why do you think teachers burn out so quickly?
I think teachers get burned out so quickly because teaching is such a demanding job.
From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed I feel like I have to be “on”.
Teachers do so much more than just educate students, they wear so many other hats.
Just today I was a teacher, a backpack mechanic, a counselor, a shoulder to lean on, a
scientist, a friend, a student, a problem solver, a chef, a singer and dancer (anything to
help students remember the order of the planets). I am so much more than a teacher;
all teachers are. And we will all do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?
Things that fill my cup when I’m running on empty usually have to do with my students. I
love seeing them so excited about a topic we’re learning. They’ve gotten so into a topic
before that they have asked for extra work that has to do with that topic. I’ve had students
tell other teachers and administrators that I have made them want to be a scientist when
they grow up and that meant more to me than anyone will ever know. I love getting to do
fun things with them. I love when they laugh at my jokes and when I laugh at theirs. I love
when any of them give me something they made. I love when they serenade me with the
songs we used to remember vocabulary terms just because they know it makes me happy.

What are some of the most thoughtful and effective ways parents and the community
can show gratitude?
I think the most thoughtful and effective way parents and the community can show gratitude
is by just showing support for teachers. You can come to school events and fundraisers.
You can donate to schools and it doesn’t always have to be supplies, you can donate
clothes as well. You also can’t go wrong with a simple thank you! It might seem small but it
means a lot.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?
My wish for Arizona children is for them to have at least one place where they feel safe,
loved, and like they belong. Whether that is home, school, a sports team, a club or whatever
it may be. All children deserve that.

What additional support or supplies do you need in your classroom and who do
people contact if they want to help out?
I work in an amazing District that provides all of my science materials so the only thing I can
think of for my classroom would be the basics like pencils, whiteboard markers, crayons,
etc. just to make life a little easier. All the amazing teachers at my school can benefit from
those. If people want to help out they can contact Madrid Neighborhood School at (602)
336-2280. Thank you!

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Growing the Tree

Million Dollar Teacher Tree was first developed in a classroom by students in a program called, Next Generation Service Corps at Arizona State University in December of 2017. These students were tasked by Lloyd Hopkins, founder of Million Dollar Teacher project with developing a project that can potentially become an integral part in helping MDTP achieve its mission. The group eventually developed the original prototype for Million Dollar Teacher Tree—a cutout dollar sign that would be placed in surrounding businesses near the partner school. The idea was pitched to staff members of MDTP during the last of their class, and the project was picked up by MDTP as a new pilot program for the organization. After many months of planning, the prototype was eventually revamped into what it is today, Million Dollar Teacher Tree.

Golden Apple

These apples are intended to provide any sort of Professional Development which, in turn, gifts them with key knowledge to add to their personal skill-set to better work with their students.

As educators, teachers are constantly looking to continually grow in their profession to not only learn how to better connect with their students, but to also make the learning experience much more exciting.

Suggested donation amount range: $10 – $100

Red Apple

These apples are designed to provide the typical day-to-day items in the classroom. Teachers spend can spend upwards of $1,000 out of pocket to have enough supplies yearlong for their students– to alleviate this, the Red Apples were created.

Everyday school supplies include; pencils, notebooks, crayons, hand sanitizer, etc.

Green Apple

These apples are intended to provide a big-ticket item for the teachers. These supplies are typically something that the teachers can use for more than one school year.

Examples include; a class-set of computers or new furniture for the classroom.

Suggested donation amount: $500+