Ah, February - the month dedicated to all things love. To celebrate, we asked our…
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The child has one intuitive aim: self development
Shannon Dauenhauer began teaching at St. Martha in 1992. She also spent six years at the private school of the Academy for Individual Excellence. Shannon has been a reading resource teacher for grades 1-8. She has taught Language Arts to grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. She’s been a religion teacher to grades 4, 5 and 6. She is an engaging story teller who enriches the education of her students and is dedicated to the work of teaching her students how to be self-advocates.
My favorite time of the year is when the students awake to the realization that the purpose of school is to prepare them for their future – which for an eighth grader is very real. When they truly understand that learning is not done for a grade but rather for enlightenment, our days are much more productive and joyful.
I am passionate about teaching my students to think and to become the person God planned for them to me. Honestly, academics come and go and change (no more handwriting, computers read to us, phones define words for us, Pluto is no longer a planet, etc.). I do not know what the future holds for my students, but I do know they must have the interest, initiative, and ability to tackle any challenge. I want to present challenges as a positive endeavor. I want to present self-reflection and needed adjustments as a necessity to growth. God put these children on this planet, at this time, for a specific purpose. My job is to prepare them for that purpose.
1. I value my religious belief. I try to be a role model and to guide my students onto a path that Jesus would follow. 2. I value the family. I try to create homework routines that will include the family without disturbing other activities in which a family participates. 3. I value failure as a way to learn. I will push students out of their comfort zone and challenge them to stretch. This may mean a period of exploration that leads them to fail. This failure, after reflection and adjustments, will lead to success. I believe parents should trust in their child to allow them to fail in order to achieve success. 4. I value the wisdom of the past. I will teach to the needs of the 21st century student, but I will also stress the basic knowledge of mankind. I will teach manners, how to express your feelings in words, how to respect and to listen to your elders, how to read, write, and think, how to work with and accept others, how to put others before myself.
My favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing a child become inspired, then to watch that inspiration become sweat, blood and tears, and finally turn into knowledge that continues the inspiration.
My favorite memory from teaching is when a difficult student shared with me that he witnessed God working through a bee to save his life. I treasure this memory because I know this boy learned that he is not alone in this world. He has everything he needs to succeed, if he opens his eyes, ears, heart, and mind to the possibilities. He changed me that day as well. It reminded me to not get bogged down in “stuff”, but to have the peace necessary to see the wonders.
My favorite thing about St. Martha is that it is a family. I am thrilled to be teaching the children of children I have taught before. I am thrilled to see generations at mass together on Sunday. I am thrilled with how many grandparents and parents attend lunch with their child. I am thrilled that we share the same history and experiences. I am thrilled with the number of graduates who come back to visit teachers. I am thrilled that we grow up and move away, yet always come home – to St. Martha.
My hope is that I provide my students with the desire and the tools they need to learn, to love, and to live. The outcome will be well worth the work.
I was blessed with a daughter who has special needs. She was given to me so that I would be forever reminded of the unique treasure a child is. Knowing and loving her makes me a better teacher. The scores, the projects, and the homework should never be placed above the self-esteem of the individual. It should guide and give confidence to the individual to be their best.
At a recent professional development day, St. Martha faculty got to share with one another…