October Teacher of the Month
The road to teaching for Stacy Haase was different than most, but her love of children was the motivating factor. The University View Academy Kindergarten English Language Arts teacher founded and operated a daycare center and pre-school for eight years before becoming an educator. She’s been a teacher for 12 years, six with UVA, and she’s always taught the youngest students. “I just love instilling these foundational values,” she explained, describing why she prefers teaching kindergartners. It’s a grade where youngsters learn the fundamentals of reading. It’s also a time Mrs. Haase said building trust is vital to the learning experience. “If you have a good relationship, they trust you, and you open up a whole new opportunity for them,” she clarified
Stacy also works closely with the students’ Learning Coaches. Usually, it is a parent at home with the student who takes a hands-on role in their child’s education. The Learning Coach helps the student log on to the computer, has to know the schedule and understand the lessons, and takes part in the Live Sessions the teacher conducts. Mrs. Haase said she has to build a close relationship with the Learning Coaches. “I’m also modeling and empowering that Learning Coach. When I’m not there, the Learning Coach has to pick up. When they take on that role, they are right alongside that teacher,” Mrs. Haase added. “I love having the interaction with the families and Learning Coaches, socializing with them, and giving them support. I feed off that, she admitted.
Mrs. Haase also observed that kindergarten is not what it used to be. It is much more involved, and she praised the UVA program. “The curriculum is laid out well and very foundational. It’s easy to follow and flows well,” Mrs. Hasse described. And to ensure the students are successful, she holds one-on-one live sessions with each one monthly. That way, she can communicate more closely with the Learning Coach to work on what the student may be having trouble with. As a bonus, Mrs. Haase has even enlisted her own daughter, Ella, to participate in some weekly live sessions. Ella is a fifth-grader, and Mrs. Haase uses her as a model student to help explain concepts. She said her students love seeing Ella and ask about her all the time. Ella is the last of Mrs. Haase’s five children still enrolled at UVA. The others have graduated. Stacy says her family is the most important thing to her and their values are faith-based. An older daughter is in full-time ministry with her husband at their church.
There was a time Mrs. Haase was the sole kindergarten teacher at UVA but the school has grown. There is a team of four now, and Stacy said it is “… absolutely wonderful.” She described the group as a tight-knit family unit that works well together. Despite restrictions due to COIVID-19 that force them to work from home, all four live in the same area, and it’s easy for them to collaborate. The pandemic hasn’t slowed the teaching end of kindergarten at UVA. Mrs. Haase says it hasn’t affected the learning end for students and Learning coaches. “They’re rockin’ and rollin’ with it,” she proclaimed.