After a long summer, students finally returned to the classrooms at Saline Area Schools last week. It's an important time of year for students and teachers alike. It's an especially meaningful time for a group of educators who are either beginning their teaching careers, or who are starting new chapters of their careers with Saline Area Schools.
Today we meet Laura Sieber.
Laura Sieber (Señorita Sieber)
What you teach: Spanish
Where you teach: Saline High School
Hometown: Canton, MI
From what university did you graduate? University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Describe your previous teaching or career experience: Student teaching at SHS with Lauren Rovin!
Why did you decide on teaching as a profession?
I have wanted to teach since I was 8 years old. I was always excited to go to school and I had many extremely influencial teachers growing up who seconded as parental figures in my life; I wanted to have that same positive influence on future students that I would teach and to be a role model to students who they might aspire to be like one day.
Why did you choose your specific area/subject?
I grew up speaking German at home, because my dad is a native German speaker, from Germany. Since then, I have since been very curious and passionate about learning about different cultures and languages. I have been learning Spanish since 8th grade and never quit because of how fascinated I was by the language itself and the culture. I wanted to show students that passion and also open up many opportunities for them in the future by teaching them a second language.
Describe a satisfying moment on the job:
A satisfying moment on the job is when a student who is usually quiet in class feels confident enough in themselves to volunteer an answer and share their knowledge with the class. Another moment is when students tell me that they are happy coming to Spanish class. I know that at the end of the day, even if my students don't remember the lesson I taught, or if I have to review tomorrow, that at least they enjoyed being in the Spanish classroom environment with me as their teacher, with a classroom culture that is open and inviting, and in an environment that makes them feel strong and confident in themselves.
Who was your favorite or most influential teacher? Why?
My favorite teacher was my high school Spanish teacher. Until I got to her class, I had been receiving A's in Spanish. Within the first two weeks of her class, I had a C- and I was confused. She pulled me out one day and asked me what my goals were. I told her and she told me exactly what I'd have to do to attain them: in this case, I had to step up my game. She challenged me more than any other teacher, but also was vulnerable enough in front of her students that she was able to tell stories about her past and also relate to certain challenges that we were all experiencing at our ages. She made me feel welcomed and confident in myself to not only succeed in Spanish class, but in life.
Tell us something about you that might surprise your students?
I have moved over 14 times within my grade school career. I have lived in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Alabama, and Michigan. I know what it's like to be the new kid and I definitely know how to adjust in a new environment.
How do you like to spend your time away from class?
Outside of class I spend my time with my family. We are always meeting for dinner, watching football together, working in our family restaurant with one another, or singing karaoke. Family is most important to me and I truly value the meaning of family, even if it isn't a "traditional" family because my parents are divorced and my dad lives in Germany, the more I get older.
What’s your impression of Saline Area Schools since accepting the position?
I see SAS as a community that truly values the idea of an education that allows students to follow their own paths and make their dreams become a reality. It seems likes SAS has something to offer every kind of student. Extracurriculars, sports, class offerings, community service, etc. Students are at the forefront of this district and it's nice to see students having a "say" in how their education turns out for themselves.