Maranda at Work: P.E. Teacher

A Bossier City educator shares the story of her passion and struggles in and out of the gym

Maranda at Work: P.E. Teacher

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -Brandi Dye has spent the last 14 years teaching — but a couple years back she decided to move from the classroom to the gym.

She teaches at Cope Middle School in Bossier City. Over the last 14 years teaching all kinds of subjects, but two years ago she decided to switch things up and become a P.E. teacher.

However — it was also around that time when her life drastically changed.

“I was diagnosed with MS," she said. "Was not expecting that at all. I was just having some walking problems, numbness in my legs and feet.”

MS, which stands for Multiple Sclerosis, is an incurable auto immune disease where the body is attacking the nervous system.

The disease has a variety of symptoms that can affect a person’s speech, and memory, but for Brandi her symptoms really affect her legs and feet and cause her a lot of fatigue.

“I fight everyday 24/7," she said. "I know being tired a lot you can’t help it and that’s just one thing I struggle with the most but you don’t see that here. I hide it. I try to hide it the best I can.”

Brandi admits hearing the news was devastating, and many questions came up as she started thinking about her future.

“I was like what am I going to do?," she said. "Am I going to be able to continue teaching and doing what I love? Am I going to have to be on disability? How am I going to provide for my family. A lot of things go through your mind.”

Brandi took some time away from teaching after her diagnosis, but when she came back she was approached with the opportunity to become the school’s new P.E. teacher and decided to take it.

Surprisingly Brandi says being a P.E. teacher has helped her fight through her MS.

“The girls want you to play, they want you to do their exercises," she said. "We get out and we walk when we’re outside. It’s helped me a lot to get up and move around.”

She’s already lost 15 pounds this year, and this role has also helped her to connect with more students.

Brandi is not only the P.E. teacher but she helps coach cross country, runs the military club and a variety of other clubs at Cope Middle.

While some days are harder than others, Brandi says she’ll continue to teach as long as she can and remain positive for her students. She plans to go back to school soon and get her masters.

“I try to come to school everyday with a smile on my face no matter what," she said. "It actually does help you have a better day.”

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