School: Peet Junior High
School System: Cedar Falls Schools District
Subject and Grade Level: Special Needs
Education: UNI, BA – Elementary Education, 1970-1974, Upper Iowa University, Reading Endorsement, 2000-2001 & UNI , MA – Special Education, 2001 – 2008
Hobbies: Reading, Gardening, Cooking
Family Members: Husband – Loren, Children – Carissa, Matthew, Kelsey
How long have you been teaching: 13 years
The Thing You Like Most About Teaching: Since I have many of my students for multiple years of junior high, I enjoy starting with them as 7th graders and seeing their independence grow, both academically and in the life skills they will use as they grow older. There are so many changes that a student goes through during the junior high years as they develop into responsible, independent young adults. It is exciting to be a part of that process.
The Thing You Find Most Challenging About Teaching: The thing that I find most challenging is having the time I would like to devote to each individual student on a daily basis. I often look at students as they are ready to move on to the next level and think that there is so much more I would like to teach them before they leave my classroom, even though I am sending them to excellent teachers who always move forward with them.
Best Tip for New Teachers: All students will learn even though it may be in different manners and by looking at different outcomes. Understanding those individual differences and finding something positive to say to a student each day may make a world of difference in his or her life.
Best Tip for Career Teachers: Look for progress in all students, even though it may not appear the same for all. Take time to understand how each student learns and set expectations accordingly.
Favorite Piece of Advice for Students: My advice to students: Always try your hardest and set reasonable goals. With adult and peer assistance, develop a way of doing things that works for you and put in your utmost effort — success will follow.
What Being a Gold Star Teacher Means to You: Being named a Gold Star Teacher is a great honor for me and I appreciate the kind words written by those who nominated me. I am proud to have my name among the past, present, and future Gold Star Teachers, as there are so many dedicated and wonderful teachers in the area and in the profession in general who also deserve to be honored.