Ms. Heather Kaiser

teacher-spotlightPauline Jones Elementary School

Cumberland County, North Carolina

Who was your favorite teacher? Why?


It is really difficult to choose only one. Academically speaking, Mr. LaMendola was my favorite. He taught personal business management. His teaching style held me accountable and kept me interested. In particular, I remember participating in the Stock Market challenge. We would go to the pay phone (yes, I realize this dates me) and dial the 800 number to get tips on the stocks our group was considering buying/selling etc. with our "play money". He hooked me on using simulations with my students.

What are three things every teacher should own?


1. A fantastic looking pair of shoes that are also comfortable

2. A first-aid kit (mainly band-aids for the quick fix)

3. A class pet (or pets)


If you could have any person (living, dead or fictional) as a principal, who would it be?


Dumbledore from the Harry Potter book series. Now there's a guy that commands RESPECT and could get a students' attention!


What profession other than your own would you most like to attempt?


I've been told I have a great speaking voice and should record books for children. I think that could be fun! I love doing different voices during a read aloud.


Describe your all-time favorite lesson/unit activity.


I love to bring my science lessons to life using the inquiry method in conjunction with a simulation based upon science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related careers.

One part of my electricity and magnetism unit thrusts students into the role of mechanical engineer. I take on the role of an owner of a scrap metal yard whose electromagnet has broken. Students must work in teams to "fix" the broken equipment. They are given a rivet, a wire, a d-cell battery and a pile of small washers that need to be moved. Can they get the electromagnet fixed before my customers start to complain? Let's hope so!


What is the greatest misconception about teachers?


Misconception: A teacher's day ends when the bell rings.

Reality: Most teachers arrive early or stay late or both and they still take work home with them. As for the summer vacation and all the days off, we're usually working on lesson plans and other school-related stuff then too.


What stereotype about teachers is true?


Not sure if this is a stereotype but you can definitely recognize a teacher by the items they have in the check-out line (school supplies galore, dollar items, etc.)


How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?


In 3rd grade, my teacher paired me with another student who was struggling to learn their multiplication facts. After lunch, we would sit together and work with flashcards. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to help others learn and teaching was going to be my career. In high school, I attended a mission trip to Chicago where we worked with some young Hispanic children. This experience reaffirmed my decision to pursue a career in education and steered me toward working with at-risk students.

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