Bringing personal experience into the classroom

MVES Teacher’s Dream Rewarded

Mountain View Elementary School sixth grade teacher Tammy Hewston said being a teacher was something she’d always wanted to do since she was a child.

“I loved the teachers I had, so they were a really big influence on me and I couldn’t decide on a major when I was in college because everything interested me,” she said. “By the time I got to the university, my counselor said ‘you’ve got to decide on something.”

Hewston said she told the counselor that she liked everything and was encouraged to get a liberal studies degree so she could be a teacher. After 18 years of teaching at Mountain View Elementary, which followed 11 years as a substitute teacher, Hewston was honored as Mountain View Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year.

Calling teaching a very rewarding job, Hewston said she just loves being with kids because it’s a chance to joke around with them, teach them things and see those moments when they finally grasp a new concept. Those moments are amazing, she said.

“I try to bring personal experiences into it and if I don’t have any of those, I break down the lessons into the smallest pieces that will give them understanding so that they can learn it a little bit at a time,” Hewston said, commenting another method she’ll use when helping the kids learn something is going “back to previous skills that will lead up to what we’re doing and I’ll say remember when we did this and you could understand that, so this is just an extension and we’re moving on from there to build on it.’ A lot of times when I do that, and I bring the past into what they’re doing, they can put it together.”

Being honored as Mountain Valley Elementary School’s teacher of the year was humbling, Hewston said, stating she felt very honored but also uncomfortable with the attention.

Looking to the future, Hewston said she plans to continue teaching at Mountain Valley Elementary School for as long as possible.

“I’ve stayed 18 years at this school. It used to be my neighborhood fed into this school, but when they built Granville it changed,” she said. “I’ve taught my neighbors, I’ve taught my friend’s kids, I’ve taught staff kids. I love this school. It’s a great place.”