A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Rivian Ross

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Rivian Ross

Growing up with a mother who teaches English can come with beneficial life lessons. It can also affect your career choice. That happens to be the case for Rivian Ross who followed in her mother’s footsteps and became an English teacher. 

“This is my second year at Fegely Middle School. Before that, I taught for 14 years in Hammond. Back in college, I wanted to be a math teacher because, truthfully, I love math; you can always find the right answer. My problem was that I wasn't always good at getting the right answer. I struggled with it, so then I thought about the fact that I loved to read, and I knew my mother's experience in it, so I decided to switch to English,” said Ross. 

Ross displayed so much passion growing up. There were signs that led her on the path she took. Whether it was due to her mother’s inspiration,  her habits at school, or a specific teacher who gave her the guidance she needed, Ross knew she was destined to teach. 

“My freshman year English teacher at Highland High School was Mike Huber. He had my brother five years prior. He went out of his way to make connections with the students. I remember having him, and when I was applying to be a teacher, he would proofread my application. Years after I had him as a teacher, he definitely went above and beyond, and I appreciated him and still do appreciate him for that,” said Ross.

For teachers, the biggest thing they get out of teaching is the success of the youth. For Ross, it is not just about their post-grade-school success but also the current success of her students. 

“I love seeing what the students get out of learning, and I love when I teach and see that it clicks with them. That keeps me going and gets me excited to keep teaching,” said Ross. 

In grade school, Ross found herself realizing early on that she was passionate about getting more out of school, not only doing well on her class work but going above and beyond to succeed in all aspects of school. Ross took a very responsible approach to finding her purpose. 

“I was the kid in first, second, and third grade, at the end of the year, who would be excited to get the workbooks to take home. I would use them over the summer and pretend to be a teacher. It is in my genes—literally and figuratively,” said Ross.

Being a teacher is much more than it seems. Ross has used her past experiences to her advantage in the classroom. Ross builds connections with her students and wants the best for each and every one of them. They are her purpose, and their success brings Ross nothing but joy.

“I just want every student out there to know to not give up, even if there are hardships or any struggles along the way. You just find something else that works for you. You have to push forward and put in the effort. You will find happiness in what you enjoy,” said Ross.