Tahlequah Daily Press

January 21, 2014

For Lindstrom, teaching’s a learning experience

By RENEE FITE
Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Her love of learning prompted Anna Lindstrom to be a teacher. She cherishes the ability to have a positive impact on teens and encourage them to become life-long learners.

When Lindstrom was deciding on a career, she was attracted to the learning environment, and found the prospect of teaching exhilarating.

“It was especially exciting to consider the ability to communicate and impact teens in a positive way,” she said. “I have always wanted to reflect my eagerness about learning onto my future students.”

While she appreciated her high school teachers, her close family members predetermined her future when they observed her enthusiasm in learning new things at school each day.

“I was eager, even at a young age, to share what I had learned at school on any particular day with my family,” said Lindstrom.

Lindstrom is in her fourth year teaching English at Tahlequah High School, and has taught school seven years: two years at Tahlequah Middle School and two years as an English as a Second Language instructor at Northeastern State University.

“I love impacting students’ lives in a positive way, especially at the high school level,” said Lindstrom.

There is truly no better place to be in the world than in an actively engaged classroom, Lindstrom said.

“The discoveries are limitless. That just excites me to no end,” she said. “I appreciate that I learn just as much from my scholars as they do from me.”

The difference between a good teacher and a great teacher is respect, according to Lindstrom. Teaching is about making a connection with students in such a way that each individual feels valued.

“Every student is unique and learns differently,” she said. “I think the best teachers are the ones that adopt the appreciation that we, as educators, are here for the students. Adapting and modifying lessons to reach the students for their benefit takes getting to know each unique learner. For myself, teaching is never mundane or routine,” she said.

Her quest as an educator never is at a standstill.

“Other educators are my most useful resource; we never know it all,” said Lindstrom.

She thoroughly enjoys teaching at Tahlequah High School, for a variety of reasons.

“The students are just so awesome, encouraging and uplifting to one another,” she said. “These young adults care about one another, and in many circumstances, consider classmates as family, as they thrive on emotional support through these crucial high school years.”

She believes the administration and faculty support and challenge each other to better prepare students to live successful lives in their future.

“The camaraderie is supportive, and I believe that we, as a unified staff, have common goals to keep our students’ best interests a priority in all aspects of their lives – academically, emotionally, and physically,” Lindstrom said. “The staff cares about our students. It feels good to be a part of that team.”

Parents and caregivers are the greatest partners to teachers, said Lindstrom. A parent who will frequently ask questions about a child’s learning, grades and areas of strengths and weaknesses could be seen as the best tool for teachers in the bridge between school and home life.

“Children who have a stable and positive home environment thrive in the classroom on numerous levels. Parents and caregivers who are active participants in their child’s life are truly a blessing,” she said.

Family time and reading fill her time when not teaching.

“I love to read all of the novels that I don’t have time to read during the school year, due to the enormity of the paper grading. My favorite part of summer, though, is spending time and reconnecting with my kids, Emma and Elijah, at home,” she said. “My family is truly my inspiration in life. I could not feel as motivated, encouraged and energetic as a teacher without my supportive husband, J.D.”