Lauren Heigert |Albert Cassens Elementary | 5th Grade Teacher
Most people enter the world of education because they were inspired by some of their own previous educators. The same goes for Albert Cassens fifth grade teacher Lauren Heigert.
“I very distinctly remember my kindergarten and seventh grade Language Arts teachers. They had a knack for making you forget you were even at school because every minute of the day was filled with engagement. I loved their enthusiasm and unconventional techniques that stuck with me many years later.”
Heigert had a desire to be a teacher ever since she was a kindergartner. That desire never waived, but rather it evolved into a passion.
Heigert’s love for teaching was solidified when she was placed in a fourth-grade classroom with the now retired Leslie Piork at Worden Elementary.
“I remember just watching her execute her lessons with grace and precision and would constantly tell myself ‘I hope that is me someday’.”
Heigert is now in her 10th year of teaching, having spent all 10 of those years at Cassens.
The kids are her favorite part of being a teacher.
“Teaching is a direct way to make an impact. I love receiving a new group of learners to nurture each year.”
Their skill sets and demands also force her to not become complacent and to continue to evolve as an educator.
“Without those kids pushing me to meet their needs, it would be easy to plateau. I am a huge advocate for project-based/hands-on learning. By allowing these kids to channel their creativity, I no longer receive “recipes” but true authentic work that depicts their knowledge of understanding. The beauty in teaching is it also allows me to tap into my competitive nature by always striving to be better than my last year self.”
And when it comes to teaching fifth graders, it’s their independence and sense of humor that she enjoys.
“Fifth grade can be a scary age to most, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. These kids are entering one of the most vulnerable ages and need someone to advocate for them, cheer them on, lift their self-esteem, and be an additional life coach. We create a class family based on love and humor.”
As a teacher, she hopes that any student she work with – either inside or outside of her classroom – knows how much she wants them to be successful academically, socially and emotionally.
“I hope they acquire perseverance and problem-solving skills. I want them to know that kindness is the best thing they can infect others with and realize that it will lift them up too.”
When she’s not in the classroom, Heigert enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, reading and cooking.