Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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ANGELS IN OUR MIDST: National Teacher Appreciation Week

Updated: Monday, May 12 2014, 08:16 PM CDT
This time last week, teachers were just getting the students resettled after the flood.

That took a lot of attention away from the fact that it was "National Teacher Appreciation Week" but we didn't forget.
Tonight, we want to applaud them through the story of one educator who is a shining example of what teachers do in the lives of our children every day.

"I majored in Psychology and Religion.  And through a course of events actually, I ended up substitute teacher here at Woodham."

That was four years ago but Jana Pavlus' stint as a substitute teacher wouldn't last long.  The administrators at Woodham Middle School knew she was just the type of "permanent" teacher they wanted on their team.

Marsha Higgins, Woodham Middle School Principal;  "They have a passion for kids and they are fulfilling it everyday.  They come in and they greet their kids and they have that relationship.  They're building a relationship with them so that the kids value what the teacher is offering."

Not only was Jana taking on a new career, she was also taking on one its biggest challenges; 7th graders "and" her subject was science.  She had to be on her game.
"Something that they're not expecting. So you just have to be on your feet thinking of stuff that's going to get their attention, that they're going to be interested in, where they're going to get involved."

Olivia Johnson, 7th Grader;  "She actually sang a song with us and went marching down the aisles and made it into a fun song about how the water would flow over the rocks and they would shape them."

Much like that water, she's committed to shaping the lives of her students because she sees the potential in every one of them.  To reach their minds, sometimes, she has to capture the heart first.

Jena;  "I said, 'You know what, you're probably one of the brightest students that I have.  You can do this.'  And that person went from making a failing grade to making B's in my class.  I mean, simple things like that.  You just believing in someone is what changes that person."

Tony Lewis, 7th Grader;  "I compare her to my mother because she's always there and she says she loves us."

Olivia;  "She understands, like, all the problems you could have.  She just a fun person to be around.  So, yeah, it's pretty simple."

Jana;  "I just share with them some of the hard things that I've been through and that way they know that I'm a real person.  My life isn't perfect.  I've had struggles.  I've had ups and downs.  But, hey, I'm standing here."

Yes, she is.  And she's standing in good company with all of the wonderful teachers out there who teach for the simple rewards.

Jana;  "If I helped a student believe in themselves, and I help them to succeed in life and have a better life, that's more reward to me than money; than anything else that I could do."

Angels In Our Midst is brought to you by the children's hospital at Sacred Heart.ANGELS IN OUR MIDST: National Teacher Appreciation Week

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Washington Times