TEACHER FEATURE

Mrs. Heidi Schaefer – St. Olaf Catholic School

Nov 12, 2007, 10:43 AM | Updated: Feb 25, 2019, 3:28 pm

I only hope I can find the right words because “thank you” just doesn’t seem to say enough. Mrs. Schaefer is a 3rd grade teacher who came to St Olaf School last fall. As might happen with any new faculty, our parental trepidation about her skills soon turned to confidence.. She set lofty goals for her class, and began nurturing her students toward those goals. She held the children accountable by working with parents. When extra clarification was indicated on a homework assignment, she often took the time to send home a note so that we parents could help support her expectations. Through communication she also enforced our shared values so that good behavior was rewarded and bad behavior was corrected. It underscored that what was taught at home was reinforced in the classroom and vice versa.

Of particular note, my son is about 60% deaf and though Mrs. Schaefer had limited experience with hearing deficient children, she remained a model for her vocation. She set about working with my son’s speech therapist at another school to ensure that the vocabulary he learned in therapy was reinforced in the classroom. Often this entailed faxing lesson plans between the two schools. Ever interested in understanding his deficit, and how to help him learn, Mrs. Schaefer attended meetings with speech therapists, audiologists, and school administrators learning how to help him understand. Certain days she finished classes early so she could be at my son’s Individual Education Plan meeting, which convened at another school a few miles distant.

In the classroom, she ensured my son was not ostracized from classroom activities She placed the microphone to his receiver/amplifier where he could hear and be involved with other ambient conversations. She always ensured he remained focused on the lessons and accountable for his assignments.

During a teacher’s seminar, she learned first hand about what a child with a hearing deficit faces because she herself sat through a demonstration of hearing loss at the mild moderate and severe stages. Armed with this new understanding, she borrowed the tape that was used during the demonstration and played it for my son’s classmates. With it went her explanation of why my son sometimes behaves indifferently. She let the children take a spelling test as part of the demonstration so the children had real exposure to how little my son actually hears. That day became an epiphany for my son, his classmates and most importantly, for Mrs. Schaefer because she could now understand new ways to motivate him and keep him engaged. My son is thriving in the environment that Mrs. Schaefer has established for my son. Thanks to her I know he will be fully ready and able to face the challenges ahead and I’m confident he’ll contribute in “main stream America”

Thank You Mrs. Schaefer

A grateful parent
Wayne L. Welninski

Today’s Top Stories

Teacher Feature

...
Emily Ashmead

Teacher Feature is back in session

After what felt like an extended summer vacation, KSL's Teacher Feature program is back in session. This year's Teacher Feature primary sponsor is Burt Brothers Tire & Service. The company has been involved with Teacher Feature for more than ten years, and says they are appreciative of a way to give back. 
1 year ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Mark Landeen, South Jordan Middle School

The following was submitted by JR Landeen. “I know it may seem weird that I am nominating my own father but I truly believe he is deserving of this award. I was never his student in the classroom or even attended his school but I know what kind of teacher he is. I remember growing […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Janie Lauritzen, Welby Elementary

The following was submitted by Jon P. Lauritzen. “Janie Lauritzen has taught kindergarten at South Jordan’s Welby Elementary for 19 years. She’s that special teacher that has parents jockeying with the school administration to make sure their children get into her classes. Over the years, she has taught children with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Jen Lightfoot, Viewmont Elementary

The following was submitted by Emily Chandler. “This year my child was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever in early September. Rheumatic fever is a rare disorder and a noncontagious acute fever marked by inflammation and pain in the joints. It chiefly affects young people and is caused by a streptococcal infection. Rheumatic fever will go after […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Shanalee Sadler, Alta High School

The following was submitted by Shana Davis. Shanalee Sadler is a special education teacher at Alta High School. She has been my son’s teacher for the past 3 and a half years. My son has autism and is a senior at Alta High School. Mrs. Sadler has gone to great lengths to teach my son […]
3 years ago
...
Emily Ashmead

Alice Erickson, Willow Canyon Elementary

The following was submitted by Amourette Bradley. “Have you ever had a teacher that stood above the rest? What if thirty years later, your child shared that same teacher? And what if he or she proved not only as extraordinary as you remembered, but even more so? Alice Erickson is that most extraordinary teacher. Many […]
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Mrs. Heidi Schaefer – St. Olaf Catholic School