Teacher Feature: Mrs. Nicole Donovan

nicole donovan
Allison Kostiuk

Nicole Donovan was looking for a change and a new challenge after nine years of teaching in a Philadelphia public school. She found both at OLMA. "I am so thankful that I found OLMA," said Mrs. Donovan. "It's a special place that truly matches my top value, which is family. As soon as I entered the school, I felt the sisterhood and knew that I needed to be part of it." Of course, three years in, Mrs. Donovan didn't expect to be teaching online.

"I am always up for a challenge, but it was overwhelming at first," said Mrs. Donovan. "I had to figure out how I was going to teach five classes and help both of my elementary school daughters with their schoolwork. I also had to find a place in my house to set up since my husband also works from home. It took some time for us to all get settled."

In reality, she made it look easy as she took Lifetime Fitness, Financial Literacy/Digital Communications, Psychology, and AP Psychology online. "Teaching is my passion, so I wanted to make sure my energy transferred over into the online learning world," she said. "Every time I had a live class, I challenged myself to bring my 'A' game to make the lessons truly meaningful for my students. I think the girls appreciated it, although I'm sure there were times when they wished I'd stop dancing or breaking into yoga poses to emphasize key points."

Mrs. Donovan is especially proud of how well her Psychology class has gone. "In so many ways, we are experiencing social psychology in action during this pandemic," she said. "It's one thing to learn concepts in class, but it's another to live them. We've had many 'aha' moments and great conversations during our live classes."

In her free time, Mrs. Donovan shares her endless energy with students by helping to keep them connected when they're not in class. "I've led guided meditations and ab workouts," she said. "Our ab workouts are still going. I also organized the OLMA Lip Sync Challenge and recruited faculty and staff to participate. It was a great way to come together to create something fun."

Pandemic or not, Mrs. Donovan is glad to be part of OLMA. " I was talking to our 10th-grade class this week about living the dream," she said. "I tell the girls how important it is to find a job that matches your values and make you happy," she said. "I'm so glad I did."

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