< 14.5 Questions with Danielle Mann

I had the chance to sit down with one of the famed sophomore English teachers at Talawanda High School. She is known for her unique teaching abilities and notorious for her sassy tone and sarcasm. Don’t let first impressions fool you.

Some students have claimed to be intimidated by her personality, like when I met her for the first time and asked to interview her. She responded with, “Who are you? What’s your name? Did I sign up for this?”

I quickly realized she’s a very hilarious and caring individual .

Mann has been teaching at Talawanda as an English teacher since 1997.  Just by speaking with Ms. Mann, anyone can suggest that she loves her job. I asked one of her fellow English teachers, Bernie Phelps, on his opinion of her. Immediately after I asked Phelps what he thought of Ms. Mann, he replied jokingly with, “She cray!” then replied more seriously with, “She’s a very nice lady who would give you the shirt off her back.”

This feature shows the amount of respect Mann receives from her peers and students as well as her love and compassion for her job and family. I had the chance to sit down with Mann and talk about a wide variety of topics from where she was born, to her most embarrassing moment, to her opinion on her own children. Here’s a little bit about Miss Danielle Mann that you might not have known.

Alyssa Martin: Where were you born?

Danielle Mann: I was born in Cincinnati at the Christ Hospital.

A.M. Where did you grow up?

D.M. I grew up in Cincinnati first. And then, when I was in high school we moved..or well, younger than that, you know. But anyway, let’s just say Cincinnati and Indiana.

A.M. Did you like it in Cincinnati?

D.M. Well, yeah.  I mean, I was a kid. I was in first and second grade so life was sweet back then, right? No job, no mortgage, no car insurance, you know?

A.M. So, you were in second grade when you moved?

D.M. Third, really…yeah.

A.M. What was life like for you as a child/teenager?

D.M. Oh my god!  Are you writing a biography?  Okay. Um, it was okay. I had the typical childhood. My parents got divorced when I was a kid and, you know, just normal stuff. No great tragedies, no great huge success stories. Nobody had any money, of course there’s nothing to buy in the eighties and seventies. There’s no…all the stuff we have now. None of that existed. There was no internets or anything.

A.M. So, nothing you remember specifically that happened?

D.M. Well, we moved when I was in…what? Third grade. Moved again when I was a junior in high school. I mean, those things were obviously significant. Were they the greatest tragedies of human kind? No…not to write a book about, unfortunately, no.

A.M. Do you have a favorite year in your life?

D.M. 1971, of course! No, let’s see. Oh man, 28 was awesome, 26 was sweet! But yeah, I mean…being 26, 27, 28. Living in Oxford, single, I was a size 4, I had a convertible, I had my own apartment, are you kidding me? Life was awesome. I used to be alive before I got married.

A.M. What’s your favorite thing about teaching?

D.M. June, July, and August. You can write that down with an “lol” after it. Um, okay. No, I mean, I would like to think…Okay, in my mind I tell myself that I’m helping kids and they’ll remember me later and blah blah blah. Yeah, that would be a mission…is that, you know, to have a positive impact on kids.

A.M. What do you think is the most important thing about English?

D.M. Understanding why and how people communicate and that there’s no one, right, perfect way. But, that you kind of have to allow a variety of communications. I mean, but then to try to capture that on paper is an art. I mean, it’s an art form to capture that essence and that tone on paper.

A.M. What do you like most about your kids?

D.M. Well, my son loves me and he’s nice to me. My daughter’s mean to me. Jack is so much fun, he’s cute. Oh, his dimples, he’s awful. And then Scout is a great singer, she’s a great artist, she’s a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz.

A.M. So, do you think Scout wants to be a singer?

D.M. Oh, in her mind she is already famous, she’s already made it there, she’s already doesn’t need me. You know, that kind of stuff.