By Alexis Newman
Local teacher Brooke Hoefler explains how she uses reading, communication and pacing to teach her young students.
Hoefler teaches kindergarten at Glen View Elementary School. She’s been teaching for 11 years, 10 of which were in special education. Hoefler said that she always knew she wanted to be a teacher because she enjoyed things like babysitting and had a heart for children.
Hoefler said her favorite learning activity is reading. She said that the students love to be told stories, especially when the books are part of a series so that they can see what the character does next. Hoefler enjoys watching the students get excited for story time because, as she said, it’s important to foster interest in reading at such a young age.
“I just love to instill a love of reading in the kids and to have excitement when they read,” Hoefler said.
As with any child, the students also learn by communicating with one another. Hoefler said that she likes to watch the students interact with each other and that sometimes a student’s friend can explain things to them even better than she can.
“When they build their relationships, they learn from each other, and so I love to let them play with each other and talk to each other, and I feel like that builds more learning than me getting up there and teaching sometimes,” Hoefler said.
The most important principle of teacher for Hoefler, though, is acknowledging that students work at their own pace. Each student learns at different rates, and it’s important to work with a student based on where they are at currently.
“My teaching philosophy is meet them where they are,” Hoefler said. “You can always improve, but you have to meet them where they are and love them, and that will make you make them grow.”