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Bartlesville Teacher of the Month Nate Vance – Presented by Union State Bank

Nate Vance started his teaching career during the most turbulent time possible, which meant Vance would not have the opportunity to ease into his professional career, instead he was thrown into the fight and forced to adapt to new standards for educating students.

“I began teaching sixth through eighth grade ELA and Social Studies in Pawhuska during the pandemic in fall 2020,” said Vance. 

Mr. Vance received his degree from an in-state school and made the decision to stay in Oklahoma, eventually landing in Bartlesville. 

“I received my BA in Sociology, and MA in Literature both from the University of Central Oklahoma,” Vance said. “From the superintendent on down, Bartlesville truly invests in educators. Their new teacher training program, autonomy in the classroom, and focus on student learning creates an environment second to none. It’s a district where everyone jumps at the chance to help each other out.  Every teacher I’ve met here puts the students first. The English department especially — I couldn’t ask for a better group of teachers to work with. When students come to me at the beginning of the year, I know they have been equipped with the skills they need in the previous grades.” 

Like many of his peers, Mr. Vance was influenced by former teachers and professors who fostered his desire for learning, leading him into a career as an educator. 

“There are countless influences in my life. My mother is a retired public school teacher who took years off to homeschool my siblings and me. My graduate professor, Dr. Andrew Dicus taught me to love research in his Shakespeare classes, and Pawhuska’s own Meghan Davis mentored me in my first few years of teaching,” said Vance. 

The reward for serving as an educator usually surrounds the students they teach. The same can be said for Mr. Vance. 

“As my students know, I love research and synthesis. There are few things better than seeing them synthesize ideas, art and historical events and relating each their own lives and world view. As one student put it while writing her research essay, “I feel like a detective now.” Vance continued, “Building relationships with students and watching them grow as people makes all the difficulties worth it.” 

Around campus you can find Mr. Vance attending as many events as possible. His focus is preparing for AP Language and Composition, when possible, you can catch Mr. Vance attending events and supporting the students in their efforts to represent BHS. 

“I attend as many of their games, meets, and concerts as I can. It’s great watching them succeed at what they love. 

When free time presents itself, you will likely find Mr. Vance focused on solving 19-down, a 7-letter word for a pedagogue. 

“I complete the NYT crossword puzzle each day (currently on a 304 day consecutive streak). I enjoy playing outside with my wife and kids and reading and writing essays when I get the chance,” said Vance. 

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