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Lower School teacher Sue Westphal is retiring after 37 years of teaching at Sacred Heart. She was recently featured by the Clarion Herald, along with several other retiring Catholic school educators, and reflected on her years of service.
From the Clarion Herald:
The Clarion Herald asked veteran teachers who have decided to retire after at least 25 years in Catholic education to reflect on their ministry as teachers. What was their funniest or most memorable moment? What’s special about teaching in a Catholic school? What advice would they give to a rookie teacher?
Academy of the Sacred Heart
40+ years teaching, 37 teaching students at Sacred Heart in grade 1-4 reading, writing and math
“I think teaching children is one of the most rewarding professions (I’m sure most teachers say this, but it’s true). My best memories as a teacher always involved a child being successful in class and feeling excited about learning new things. Sometimes their success came quickly, and sometimes success took lots of extra effort and hard work. But it was great to see a child’s determination pay off. … The innocent things kids say that are hilarious. The children have no idea that what they are saying is funny.”
“I love that Sacred Heart is Catholic, and I feel that my faith has grown because of it. Everybody has ups and downs in life, and having faith and hope is essential. During some very tough times, Sacred Heart, with its community of caring people and its strong spiritual beliefs and philosophies, gave me what I needed most. Sacred Heart is so much more than a school – it has been a second home to me, and I have made many lifelong friends. It will not be easy to retire from this wonderful place.”
“Do all things possible to make each child feel good about himself/herself. A child’s self-esteem needs to be nurtured and protected. Have patience, and remember to take a deep breath when patience is dwindling (and it will dwindle). Look for new ways to teach and keep it fun. Also, enjoy TGIF parties with friends!”