I have six children. I’ve noticed through the years the people in my children’s life who have made a difference and been an influence for good in ways that I just couldn’t.
They’ve filled the gaps where I have lacked. Those people have been grandparents, aunts, and uncles, youth leaders and neighbors, and more than anything their teachers at school.
This year of all years’ teachers have a lot on their plate and are serving in ways that are more than I can even understand. We need to spotlight these amazing men and women. Those people who deal with our children in some of their hardest moments and teach them a lot more than their ABC’s and 123’s.
This month I decided to spotlight a person near and dear to so many of you in the wonderful city of Spanish Fork.
Angela Eckhardt teaches kindergarten at Larsen Elementary School in the Nebo School District and has been teaching there 22 years now. Eckhardt comes from a family of teachers. Her grandmother and two aunts taught school and her mother just retired from teaching kindergarten.
Eckhardt has two sisters, two brother in laws, and three daughters and a niece all in the family business, so you could say it was in her blood to be drawn to teaching.
“I love kindergarten because they are so excited about everything! I love to teach reading the most, but math is so great in kindergarten too! Really my favorite thing is to teach kids that they can change the world just by being kind to those around them! I have had so many great mentors and friends that I have worked with. So much of what I love about Larsen Elementary is the faculty and the families that make up our school. I have had four great principals, Dwight Liddiard, Mike Johnson, Garrett Anderson, and Cami Thomas. I learned so much from each of them. My favorite things at kindergarten are restaurant day, making a dinosaur, going to the Zoo (probably not this year), and just listening to them interact with each other. This year I have three students whose parents were in my kindergarten class, so that is fun, but it means I am so old!”
Elsie Gibson has Angela Eckhardt this year for kindergarten and her mother LaShelle Gibson said, “Mrs. Eckhardt is a great teacher and treats each kid like they are her own. I’ve even seen her sewing up an injured stuffed animal for her student while they waited outside for their parents to pick them up.”
When I asked Angela how teaching during COVID-19 had been she replied, “COVID with kindergarteners has been easier than we anticipated, but still not my favorite thing, though I am so grateful just to be at school. They have been great with masks, for the most part. Most adults in our county could learn a lesson or two from them.”
Angela Eckhardt is one of many teachers in our communities that serve and teach our children each day. So many rise above and beyond the normal call of their job and not only teach our children but mentor and love them along the way.
If you have a teacher you would like us to spotlight in the Springville, Mapleton, Spanish Fork, Payson, Santaquin, Eureka, or Nephi area, please let us know and nominate them here at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Gibson is a Serve Daily contributor.)