Meet a Lion: Mrs. Downing and Her Life Before, During, and After Tallwood


Tallwood Lions’ Opinion on AP Classes

Laila Smith

1. What adjectives would you use to describe yourself?

I wasn’t sure so I asked my students….loud, friendly, hard working, funny, caring, intelligent.

2. Did you attend Tallwood as a student? If so, could you describe your school life as a student?

I did not attend Tallwood, but I am a product of Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I was a military child who moved to Virginia while in elementary school and attended Hermitage Elementary, Great Neck Junior/Middle, and Cox High School. Prior to arriving in Virginia I went to three different elementary schools.

3. What school did you graduate from and what class/year?

I graduated from Old Dominion in 2002, with a BA degree in History with a concentration in Education and a BA in Political Science.

4. Are there any quotes that you live by? Do you recommend any to your students?

I am not sure, there are so many. I always go back to a funny one….Be happier than a seagull with a french fry. I try to update the board with different quotes concerning happiness, being strong, and persevering.

5. What subjects do you teach?

Currently – AP Human and Global Cultures.

6. What is your passion for teaching these subjects?

I love AP Human Geography, Global Cultures fits right into that! AP Human not only introduces students to geography but allows them to really understand how people have impacted the earth, from pollution, to the number of people in an area.

7. Why did you choose this academy and not others?

Being apart of the Global Studies Academy fits all my interests as a Social Studies teacher, who loves world events! It’s great to have students who are just as interested in world affairs and events. There’s so many opportunities to interact with students from around the world, experience different cultures with cultural cafes, and this is an amazing school!!!

8. Have you worked anywhere else than Tallwood?

I worked at Landstown from 2002 to 2018.

9. If you had to choose any other career what would it be?

I used to say lawyer, but I believe that I would say that an environmental or educational NGO.

10. Do you think that you will be a teacher forever?