VANDALIA — Marie Reikowski, a second grade teacher at Demmitt Elementary School, has been named the April Staff member of the Month by the Vandalia-Butler City Schools. Reikowski was nominated by Principal Garry Martin.
“Marie is a great second grade teacher,” said Martin. “She has taken on the extra duties as testing coordinator and computer guru on top of educating kids.”
How long have you been teaching?
This is my 10th year of teaching -all at Demmitt!
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I simply couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I have wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. I think it is the most challenging and rewarding job. When students ask if I wasn’t a teacher, what I’d be doing, I tell them I honestly don’t know – I love what I do!
Did you have a teacher who made an impact on you?
I have had several, but my preschool teacher was the one who first made me decide I wanted to teach. I had some wonderful professors in college who had a huge impact on the teacher I am today.
What is your proudest teaching accomplishment?
It is the little things I am most proud of – watching a student start to believe in him or herself, seeing a student finally find a book he or she loves, helping a friendship develop, etc. Knowing I am able to have a positive impact on each student’s life, no matter how small, is what I am most proud of.
How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
I believe all children can learn and reach their goals, but their paths to get there might just look a little different. It is my responsibility to help them discover how they each learn best, so they can be successful and achieve their goals. Students need not only opportunities to be guided through the learning process, but also chances to try it on their own – face challenges, make mistakes and learn from them.
How do you think your students would describe you?
I think my students would describe me as caring, fair and organized. They’d probably say I like to have fun while teaching!
Are you working on any special projects in your classroom?
Every Wednesday, we do a “Wednesday Trip” – we get plane tickets and pretend to fly somewhere to learn something new. Students have a passport with a picture or stamp for each trip we have taken. This is something former students love to stop in and ask about and current students anticipate each week – I do, too!
What do you hope your students take from your classroom?
I hope my students have learned a lot about themselves as learners this year and discovered learning new things can be fun and exciting. I also hope they carry with them a desire to always learn as much as they can and to complete work and make choices that make themselves (and me) proud.
Reach the Vandalia-Butler City Schools at 415-6400.