For the third week in our “Getting to know our teachers” series, we’re looking at Mrs. Annette Diener. Mrs. Diener teaches Kindergarten all day, and 1st and 2nd grades for part of the day at Our Savior Lutheran School in Grafton, WI.
Can you give me a brief description of your classroom and objectives for this school year?
My classroom is a combined grades K, 1 and 2 classroom. This multi-grade setting allows students to interact with other students of various ages which often makes it seem almost like a family.
I assist parents in training their children for life here on earth and for eternity. The curriculum objectives are designed to allow each child opportunities to successfully develop in all areas of service to God and others – spiritually, academically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
I have many favorite Bible verses, it’s hard to chose just one! This is one of my favorites:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors[b] through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
I have found this Bible verse to be especially comforting as I move forward in my journey through life. Circumstances in my life may change. Death of loved ones and unanswered questions may change my life in an instant. Relationships may change. Leadership changes. Many things come into my life that may threaten to undermine my feeling of security and confidence and may even allow seed of doubt about my past, present and future to take root.
There is one thing that I can is always certain about: I am completely victorious through Him who loved me and absolutely NOTHING can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! That reassuring promise is a source of strength to me reminding me that I am never alone nor do I need to fear changes that come my way!
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while teaching?
I was blessed to have both of my own parents volunteer as helpers in my classroom for over 15 years. One day as I was describing to them how they were going to be helping that day and how they should go about carrying out those tasks working with the students, one little boy leaned over to me, put his hand on my arm and asked me rather sternly (and loud enough for my parents to overhear), “I don’t you think you should be bossing your parents around, do you?” Wow! I guess I never thought about it that way before! My parents and I all started laughing! From the mouths of children…
You are a cookie. What kind would you be and why?
I would be a sugar cookie made from my Great-Aunt Clara’s Sugar Cookie recipe. They are SO delicious and everyone loves them! It’s a cherished recipe handed down from my dearly loved great-aunt who was also a teacher. It’s a very versatile cookie because after the dough is rolled out, it can be made for any occasion or holiday depending on which of the hundreds of cookie cutter shapes used! It can be baked and served plain and still delicious! What most children and grown-ups like are the ones that are fancied up with colored sugar sprinkled on. MY personal favorite is topped with colorful, piped frosting using decorator’s tips or colorful, spread frosting, and topped with beautifully colored sugar, sprinkles, or candy bits. Best of all though, they are best when made with families working together, spending time together, and sharing the fun and making memories which will be cherished for many years to come!
What inspires you about teaching?
I have always been inspired in teaching by the natural love most students have to learn about the world around them using their God-given gifts and talents. It’s a true privilege to be able to help prepare these young people for the future.
Collaborating with other teachers, and partnering with the child’s family gives me a greater awareness of how to better meet the needs of each student and prayerfully take them to the next steps toward using the tools and knowledge they acquire to succeed and serve those around them now and in the future.
Watching children grow using their abilities with the ongoing prayers, nurturing and encouragement of those around them is a priceless gift that also inspires me in my teaching. The wide-eyed, happy glow on a student’s face filled with wonder and surprise when they finally acquire a new skill or understand a new concept is a reward in itself to any teacher and spurs me on to take that student to the next level of learning!