Years Teaching: 15 years
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy running, traveling, shopping, scrap-booking, coffee with friends, walks and kayaking with family, watching movies and reading.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? The KIDS, the community and the culture of learning! Our school is like a family, a home away from home, I love being a part of a team! I love kids that make seeing you a part of their day. I enjoy seeing students grow through the culture we have created at Peet to find their strengths and overcome obstacles! I love the opportunity to come alongside students during hardship and help them navigate towards success with confidence.
What do you find most challenging about teaching? As a school counselor, I find the biggest challenge in ensuring every student’s physiological, safety and emotional needs are met. We can only control what happens within our school building and we cannot undo trauma that some of our students have unfortunately experienced.
Best tip for new teachers: My tip for a first year counselor would be that you do not have to conquer it all in year one! The most important piece is getting to know your students, learn every single student’s name so that you can call them by it. Build relationships and give yourself grace. Work to establish a comprehensive school counseling program small step by small step and see how you can be an asset to your school team!
Best tip for career teachers: My tip for a career counselor would be to practice self-care because compassion fatigue is real. Find the balance that makes you thrive in your various roles at home and at school! We are lifelong learners, therefore, continue to challenge yourself to grow as a leader, advocate and collaborator all to create positive systemic change for students!
Favorite piece of advice for students: “Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.” – Kid President
What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: It is such an honor to be chosen as a Gold Star Teacher! There are so many phenomenal educators in the Cedar Valley, I feel truly humbled to be among this group of ten. My husband and my mom are two of the best educators I have ever known, I have learned so much from them about passion for excellence and love for kids! My mom taught in Waterloo Schools for 26 years. As a child, I remember her applying for this same award. Now that her health has declined with ALS, this honor means the world to me as I feel like I am living out her legacy in education and I am making her so very proud. This award means that my passion for kids and desire to help them become the best version of themselves is having a positive impact. Being named a Gold Star Teacher is representative of all the people that have greatly impacted me and have been a part of my learning, past and present! A big thank you to McElroy Trust, KWWL, my Peet family, K-12 Counseling team and to Cedar Falls Schools for investing in and supporting me since I was a small kindergartner at Lincoln Elementary.
Watch Rebecca’s video here!