Susan Meyer, Kindergarten Teacher at Beaver Acres Elementary in Beaverton, OR
Nominated by Blake Larmanger (former student, now in Middle School)
My teacher, Susan Meyer, supported me when I was being bullied, and she taught me so much. She has continued to check up on me, even when I had my finger cut off. She cares so much for the kids she teaches, and this is one way all of us can show how valued she is. The things like, playing Ukuleles, singing, speaking in front of audiences and projects from other countries. She is an amazing, one-of-a-kind teacher that all her students love. She is the true meaning of what a teacher can be to help kids be everything they can be, all wrapped around the caring and support that she shows every student. She is the most amazing individual, full of compassion, that you could ever meet, and all of us children she has taught over the years were lucky to experience her gift.
Congrats Susan, from all of us at K103!
What inspired you to become an educator?
I had so many great teachers and were inspired by them throughout my childhood. It always seemed like my teachers truly liked their job, were enthusiastic about teaching their class, and enjoyed working with their colleagues. That was something that I admired. I started teaching in the Parkrose School District, where I grew up, and ended up working with some of my former teachers.
What do you like most about teaching?
Teaching is fun, exciting, and very rewarding. It always amazes me how much a child can learn in a school year. Every September you start with a new group of students, getting to know them personally and figuring out how they learn. Then you spend the year teaching, coaching, and helping each child learn. It’s very gratifying.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
I have been teaching for over 30 years, so of course technology has made a great impact on education. I also think we, as a society, are pushing our young children academically to soon, so they are losing the essence of their childhood. Many young children do not know how to play with others and use their imagination. In this sense, I think it is so important for families to limit technology, and spend time together outdoors and doing activities like playing board games.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
I would like parents to know how special it is to have the privilege of teaching and spending time with your child each day. I love watching and listening to them learn. It is quite amazing how children naturally teach and help each other. I love working with families, and conferences are a favorite time for me. I get to work with the family and feel like a part of their family, all working for one goal to educate their child.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
One day a former student came to my classroom during her senior year of high school. I introduced her to my class and told them she was in my class as a second grader. I asked her what she remembered about being in my classroom, thinking she would say I taught her how to read or do math, and instead she told my students I taught her manners and how to be polite. You never know what impact you will have on a child!