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Howard Comes to TJ

Posted 04/11/2008 by Julia Harrington

This year Heaton’s student teacher is a standout.
by Julia Harrington
photo by Manuel Perez

juliathingystuff.jpg    This year Emily Howard has big shoes to fill as a student teacher to the beloved Gordon Heaton, but she has made her own mark and takes everything he has to teach to heart.
     Howard was born in Steamboat Springs in 1981 and with hopes to teach in an urban area, Thomas Jefferson High School is an ideal fit for her to do her student teaching. After graduating from Steamboat Springs High School in 2000 she continued her education at Colorado State University getting a Bachelors  Degree in Speech Communication while minoring  in sociology in 2003. She also has a Masters degree in Speech Communication with a focus in political communication. Howard shared with the Jefferson Journal what she has learned her experiences.
Thomas Jefferson Journal: How did you decide to be a teacher?
Emily Howard: My mom is a teacher, and many of my other family members are teachers. First I thought that there was no way I would become a teacher. In college I was studying political science and speech communication and wanted to become a lawyer. Then I went to graduate school and taught college classes for three years. I loved teaching there but I wanted to teach younger students. Before I had decided I wanted to be a teacher I worked for a marketing team that had many high-end clients, such as the Broncos and Qwest.  Although I made a lot of money and I enjoyed the perks, I knew that that wasn’t what I was meant to do. 

TJJ: What was your favorite subject in high school?
 EH: I took a sociology class in high school that was my favorite. It made me think and understand why people acted the way they do. It made me see that people aren’t just good and bad, there are reasons.
TJJ: How has Mr. Heaton helped you to become a better teacher?
EH: I think more than anything else he has taught me that it is easy to respect students. Also, showing respect for students encourages them to respect you in return. He has also shown me that history really can be told as a story, and that it really should be told as a story. He has also exhibited that you can always find humor in history.
TJJ: What are your future goals for teaching?
EH: I want to teach in an urban setting or in a very rural setting. I think my goals for social studies education for my students isn’t to learn facts and dates as mush as learning who they are in connection to history. I want students to leave my class with a better  understanding of how they can affect their world.
TJJ: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a student teacher?
EH: While being a student teacher, my biggest accomplishment has been creating an atmosphere where students feel safe communicating with each other about controversial or personal subjects.
TJJ: What do you like to do in your spare time?
EH: I love to read. I don’t have very much free time with taking three classes, planning a wedding, and student teaching. I also am on a kickball team that plays in Washington Park on Thursday. I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and skiing.
TJJ: What are some qualities that you have learned from Mr. Heaton that you will take with you in your teaching career?
EH: I’ve learned that he always allows students to ask questions and elaborates; he never shuts students down for the sake of moving on. He is a lifelong learner and teachers need to continue their own education. I’m not sure if his jokes came out of my mouth they would be funny. He has a special quality that he can pull off those jokes.