For the second straight year, the Saline Area Schools district was in a position to hire new teachers prior to the school year. The Saline Post photographed many of the new teachers prior to the school year. Now that they've been on the job a few months, it's a good time to introduce the teachers to the community.
Toiday we feature Heidi Phelps.
What you teach: Life Skills
Where you teach: Saline Middle School
Hometown: New Boston, MI
From what university did you graduate? Eastern Michigan University
Describe your previous teaching or career experience: As a newly graduate student from EMU (April 2015), I am very grateful to have received my position. Previous experience within my field is all due to my student teaching at Saline High School. I was thankfully given both my general education and special education placements within the high school; through great mentors I gained so much experience and leadership abilities. During this past summer, I was the lead teacher for Hornet Camp for the middle school aged students. There I was able to get to know each student individually and fall more in love with the idea of receiving the position!
Why did you decide on teaching as a profession? Why did you choose your specific area/subject? I chose teaching as my profession because I wanted to make a difference for the upcoming generations. I wanted to teach them to thrive on their experiences, and not necessarily just the standard/ norm. Each student/individual is unique in their own way, and I wanted to help them learn their strengths and ways to improve on their weaknesses through unique learning experiences! I chose special education because it is anything but the norm, it is unique and an amazing group of individuals that thrive to achieve individual goals. I wanted to be a part of a group, that I knew would change the world. It's simple to be part of special education, because you as the educator are helping students become who they are/want to be through the experience of education we provide them!
Describe a satisfying moment on the job: Every morning, when my students walk or sometimes runs up to me, and give me the biggest smile and hug as their daily greeting!
Who was your favorite teacher? Why? My favorite teacher would hands down have to be my third grade teacher; Mrs. Shelly Antolak. She taught to love education, and motivate myself to become whatever I choose. Her teaching methods, were unique and fun; as a third grader you really don't want to go to school but I did. I loved the idea of learning new things each day, whether I was good at it or not I still loved it! I knew then I wanted to become a teacher.
What’s something about you that might surprise your students? If only my students knew, how much of a kid at heart I am; we all would be the best of friends. I love watching Disney movies, or any animated or cartoon movie for that matter!
How do you like to spend your time away from class? When I'm not in my classroom, I am at home typically on Pinterest looking at new things for our classroom; while hanging out with my 15 month old son.
What’s your impression of Saline Area Schools since accepting the position? Saline Area Schools has provided me opportunities to grow and succeed as a teacher and as a leader. I hope and know that I will be able to gain much knowledge through simple daily conversations throughout the district. The opportunities of involvement are endless, and I love being a part of something more than just a school; we are an entire community striving to make a difference.