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Venturing Out of the Comfort Zone: Samantha Tallent

Molly Grace WatkinsAlumni, Education, News

Samantha Tallent
Science Facilitator at Lee Elementary School
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education ’09

Sometimes when you venture out of your comfort zone, the Lord has a way of putting you exactly where you need to be.

-Samantha Tallent ’09


What do a kindergarten teacher and a science teacher have in common? To Samantha Tallent, they have everything in common.

Samantha Tallent graduated from the University of Mobile in 2009 with a bright future ahead of her. Upon graduation, she began teaching kindergarten at Calcedeaver Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, Alabama. During those years, she gained a passion for teaching children and seeing them to their absolute best. 

Fast forward a decade later, and she began teaching in the science lab at Lee Elementary School. This is where the Lord grew her and stretched her outside of what she was used to.

teacher with students

“Pure shock and fear took over my body when my principal asked to move me to the science lab! Me, little ole me?! A kindergarten teacher of 10 years, teaching Science to PreK through 6th grade students? No! But I prayed and ventured out of my comfort zone and immediately fell in love with it,” says Tallent. 

In her years of teaching, Samantha has won numerous awards for her excellence in academic teaching. She received the Shell Regional Science Lab Award for 2020-2021 school year. She also was the winner of Satsuma City School District Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021.

Tallent says, “My job involves way more than simply teaching science. I have to be someone that my students want to learn from. To gain my students’ curiosity, win the hearts of the students who hate school and teach the students bouncing off the ceiling, I must be quite creative. That is where my life stories come into play and my dress-up closet comes to life!”

Q. What have you been up to since leaving UM? 


A.  Since leaving my home-away-from-home, I began my teaching career at Calcedeaver Elementary School. Kindergarten was my passion for 10 years! I thrived and fell in love with those tiny humans. The growth was monumental, and I knew God put me exactly where I was meant to be. 

A decade later, my principal said she saw something in me and moved me to the science lab at Lee Elementary School. I fell in love with that position within the first year. I was able to tell jokes with the older students and still bond with the younger ones. I was being paid to create explosions in the lab and make science truly fun for all grade levels. Oh, was I in my element then. No pun intended!

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Q. Career Highlights?

A. In my 15-year career, I have received many accolades. Although these honors make me smile, there is nothing more precious than seeing a struggling student thrive in my classroom. Simple comments from students keep me going and make my day. “Mrs. Tallent, you sure make science fun.” “Mrs. Tallent you are a crazy teacher, how do you even come up with this stuff?”These are the awards that I will always remember.

Q. What did you like most about UM?

A. The small town feel! I was never a number in the School of Education at UM. My professors pushed me and saw me as someone fresh to the education world needing nurture and direction. I was followed well into my teaching career from several professors. They always made me feel special and I will always remember that feeling. It is a feeling I try to pass on to my students when I see them in the real world. 

science fun

Q. What are you passionate about?

A. I am passionate about teaching the WHOLE child. My job on paper is to teach science. But boy-oh-boy does it involve way more than science standards! I always open my science lessons with a heartfelt story or funny tale enticing the students’ attention and gaining their curiosity. Bam! That is when I slip in the science standards and there you have it! They’ve learned science. I’ve won their heart and the label of “the crazy science lady.” It is a win for all!