Alison Harper

Alison Harper
Math Teacher, Advisor
Algebra A/B, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Environmental Science
Education: BS in Secondary Education and Environmental Science from UNR

I graduated from Bitney and I feel like Bitney really helped me become the person that I am. I was a shy and quiet girl. After I moved to Grass Valley, Bitney brought the family piece that I was missing from other schools. I love being able to give back to the community that helped make me who I am.

After graduating high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I worked different jobs trying to figure out what I wanted to do and one of my jobs was working at Bitney tutoring students with learning disabilities. I just loved it so much that I realized that I needed to go back and get my full credentials so that I can do this everyday for the rest of my life.

What inspires me to continue teaching are the “aha!” moments. When students are really struggling with a concept and then they finally understand it after you approach teaching it from different angles and then they go “Oh my gosh! I understand it now.” That’s the best feeling in the whole world.

The Big Picture Learning model is very different from traditional school settings. Big Picture, to me, mostly means internships and the community. Bitney has always had that community but adding that element of teaching life skills really enhances what we do here.

What I most love about Bitney is definitely the students and I love the staff. I haven’t felt this close to co-workers before. Not only is Bitney itself a family and a community, but the staff is as well. We hang out a lot and it’s great. I also appreciate the freedom to teach what we want to teach and the way we want to teach it. Having the freedom to play around with the class and move stuff around is awesome.