Stearns retiring from teaching after 33 years
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
Jill Stearns will say farewell to her final class of second-graders this year at Madison Elementary School.|
Stearns has been teaching in Madison since 1983, starting first as a substitute and then as a full-time teacher the following year. Prior to coming to Madison, she taught school in Alcester and Midland.
At Madison, Stearns has held positions as first-, second- and third-grade teacher as well as speech therapy and Title I teacher and teacher's aide.
"Every day is totally different," Stearns said when asked what she has enjoyed most about teaching. "There's no two days alike."
Stearns said the most enjoyable moments are when she sees the students light up when they learn something new.
At Madison Elementary School, second-grade teachers work together on various projects throughout the year.
"I like working with my team," said Stearns, referring to the other three second-grade teachers. "They make it fun."
Asked what inspired her to pursue teaching as a profession, Stearns first pointed to her mother, who was also a teacher and someone who was instrumental in her choosing to pursue a teaching career.
"But I really had a third-grade teacher that I really liked, and I think she was my inspiration as far as teachers go, and I've just always known I wanted to be a teacher."
While she admits she'll miss the students and the staff, Stearns said it's time for new teachers to bring new ideas into the classroom with changes coming to common core standards, South Dakota Math Counts and new assessment tests that will be administered online.
One of the newest additions to the classroom has been the incorporation of iPads. Stearns said K-2 teachers have an iPad cart that is available once a week on a rotating schedule. With one cart available, Stearns said, classes typically use the iPads once a week for 30-45 minutes.
In her retirement, Stearns has several things she plans to accomplish, including traveling, camping and painting.