Teacher Feature: Hillcrest’s Anna Aswell explains her nurturing approach to teaching

By Alexis Newman

As a kindergarten teacher, it’s important to keep things upbeat for the young students, and Anna Aswell can vouch for the fact that positivity in the classroom is a benefit to the children. 

Aswell has taught at Hillcrest Elementary School for nine years, two of which were in special education and the rest in kindergarten.

Coming from a family of educators, Aswell said that teaching was essentially in her blood. Her mother taught second grade for 34 years, and her grandfather was a superintendent in Union Parish. Her grandmother was also a teacher.

“I have always wanted to help others and helping elementary children has really applied my love of that,” Aswell said. “I also love seeing the growth of the students from the beginning of the year to the end is remarkable.  I love being able to help them grow to their potential.”

In fact, one of Aswell’s main principles regarding teaching is helping students reach their full potential by working at their own pace and providing any help possible. She believes in using any means to aid their students in reaching their academic goals.

“I also believe students work better in nurturing environments, so I always love to keep a routine daily of everything and always give a hug or smile to make them feel loved and appreciated,” Aswell said.

Able to find the positive in all school subjects, Aswell mentioned a few different things that she particularly enjoys: incorporating science into math lessons, doing engineering-like activities that let the students apply both of those skills, and watching the students improve their reading skills and comprehension throughout the year.

“My favorite thing is to see both my present students and my past students and see how they have grown in their learning,” Aswell said. “I love receiving hugs and sweet smiles from them. It makes me feel like I have made a difference in that short amount of time that I have had them. That is the ultimate reward.”


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