The people who were once Alexandria Howard’s teachers and mentors are now her coworkers. The Portage High School grad turned teacher is three years into the job and loves it every day.
“It is still weird to hear them call me by my first name,” Howard said. “In some ways, I still like it. I am still learning from them, just in a different way. I feel like I had, and now work with, some of the best teachers around.”
“There is no other school I could picture myself at,” Howard added. “This whole community feels like home. I love my job and I love my town.”
Howard used to play school as a child with her stuffed animals, so it felt like teaching was in her future. She fell in love with teaching English because of how much she read growing up, and now she wants to pass on that feeling to her kids. She is motivated by a lot of things, but one sticks out more than the others.
“My teachers always guided me in my life. I wanted to become that person for someone else,” Howard said. “Everyone always had that one teacher who made a huge impact, and I want to become one of those.”
Howards biggest challenge seems to come when balancing her work and personal life. She feels like teachers' brains are always working beyond the clock, including hers. Even when sitting at home she is thinking about one of her students or a way to improve her lesson plans that week. No matter where she is, school is on her mind.
“I feel like sometimes I need to just stop working,” Howard said. “I will always be thinking of my kids, whether I am working or not, they are too important not to.”
For Howard and almost all teachers, the last few months have been tough. She has been unable to see her kids and misses them every day. She is remaining strong, though, and still trying to be there for her kids. On the plus side as well, she has been able to learn something new with her time.
“This situation has made me a lot more tech-savvy,” Howard said.“ I feel Portage as a whole has put these kids first during this tough time, and I am extremely grateful to work for such a great school.”
This time away from school has also given Howard the chance to do a lot more cooking, trying new recipes. Her children are even able to help out sometimes and she is always on the lookout for new recipes.