Vanessa Ebling, Valley Lutheran School
Years Teaching: 28 years
Hobbies/Interests: Reading, walking, watching UNI football and wrestling, and spending time with my family.
Family Members: Dave: husband; children: son Danny Ebling; son James Lane and his wife Michelle and my granddaughter Lorelei; son Seth Ebling and his wife Jasmine; Elizabeth Ebling.
The Thing You Like Most About Teaching: I love seeing the growth in my students academically, socially, spiritually and emotionally and building relationships that last beyond the classroom.
The Thing You Find Most challenging About Teaching: My biggest challenge is keeping students motivated to do their best in the classroom; it requires constant reevaluations of the methods, strategies and social dynamics in every subject and every class.
Best Tip for New Teachers: FIND A MENTOR!! First year teachers are usually overwhelmed with the tasks in front of them, no matter how well prepared they are. The need to find a teacher or administrator that can come alongside them as they wrestle through those tough subjects and challenging students-sometimes just to encourage them to “keep doing what you’re doing”.
Best Tip for Career Teachers: Never stop learning. Never be satisfied with where you are in your teaching. Strive to give your students the very best of who you are with the gifts that God has given you. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes- sometimes the students learn more from how you handle problems than the actual solution.
Favorite Piece of Advice for Students: Step out of your comfort zone. Try something you’ve never tried before- Speech, a new sport, writing, art, an elective class. Don’t be afraid of failing-persevere! And above all, seek out God’s will for your life.
What Being a Gold Star Teacher Means to You: I am greatly humbled to be chosen for this award. It is a blessing that I can share this award with my amazing family, friends and the wonderful staff, students and parents that I have made a part of my life these past eight years at Valley Lutheran School. Thank you so much for this incredible honor!