Teacher of the Week: Megan Desmond

Teacher of the Week: Megan Desmond

Meet MEGAN DESMOND, a former Heritage student who returned to the Champaign County district six years ago — this time as a third-grade teacher — following a stint in St. Charles, Mo. Here's more.

I got into teaching because ... I had a great experience in this district. I loved all my teachers. That set that foundation to put teaching in my mind. In college, I steered that direction toward teaching. I fell in love with the idea of my own classroom. My husband and I are both from this area, and he teaches in Danville. It was kind of fate as it all happened — the evening that my husband and I decided to move back to central Illinois, I called a colleague and asked if she knew of any openings. She said that just the day before, Heritage had posted an opening.

My favorite thing about Heritage is that ... the kids feel like they're part of a family. I have relationships with not only the kids in my class, but kids in all grade levels. Before they get to me, I will know them because I know their siblings. And you keep the relationship long after they're in your classroom. They're not just a head, a student, a number — they are your kid. You can carry on and check in with them as they get older.

What makes me unique as an educator is ... personally, I value character over curriculum. I teach to my kids with them as adults in mind. I'm trying to help them be successful with whatever path in life they take. I emphasize their social and emotional well-being.

As far as what I'd be doing if I wasn't teaching ... if my husband was rich, I would be a stay-at-home mom and have a lot of kids. But he's a teacher, too, so he's not. I'd thought about getting more involved in youth athletics because sports was a huge part of my life growing up.

My favorite thing to do come summer is ... soak up every moment with my kids. During the school year, things are so crazy and busy that I feel like I lose a lot of time with them. During the summer, we try and travel and do experiences with my kids we don't have time to do during school. Of course, that involves the pool and visiting family that lives far away.

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