The Adventures of Dr. Wendy Schoolmeester
This is the last part of this blog series… Part II focuses on Mrs. Julie Kelly while Part III focuses on Dr. Wendy Schoolmeester, a retiring Professor of Education at Southwest Minnesota State University, where she was Mrs. Julie Kelly’s professor and mentor as an undergraduate teacher candidate. Today, we get to hear from Dr. Wendy as she reflects and respond to the same questions formerly posted to Ms. Devyn and Mrs. Kelly.
I choose SMSU because we have hands-on, in-the-classroom, real life teaching experiences from the semester you begin as a Freshman to the semester you walk across the stage and receive that hard-earned diploma. By offering these real teaching experiences, teacher candidates have the opportunity to hone their craft and soar to new heights as a teacher. SMSU facilitates our teacher candidates to go from good to great in their future education profession.
Why the education profession?
Because educators make a difference if the lives of young people. I believe education is the foundation for the future of these young people. We guide our teacher candidates to help them thrive. One of my favorite quotes is by Rita Pierson and it rings true for all educators and is the why education is the best profession: “Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can be.”
What motivates you?
Serving others, treating all people with unconditional regard, making a difference, hanging out with family and friends, teaching, singing, dancing, writing, drawing, coloring, camping, praying, reading, coffee, smiles, being creative in any way possible and more.
What is your passion?
Professional Passions: helping students know they are cared for, respected, and appreciated; assisting students to become the best educator they can be; being creative and thinking outside the box to develop engaging lessons and presentations.
Content Passions: I love everything about teaching Children’s Literature and within this course there are several engaging lessons I am more passionate about than others. For example, I enjoy the genre of Poetry and Historical Fiction the most. Social Studies Methods is another course I truly enjoy. Sharing and role modeling creative instructional strategies and assessment methods are a favorite of mine.
Personal Passion: My list of what motivates me is also my personal passions. Making connections with my students first, then teaching. Within my teaching I enjoy implementing my personal passions.
Who is your role model?
My dad is my role model. While my dad only made it through the 8th grade, he ended up being very successful as a Public Relations Manager for the Rural Electric Association (REA). He enjoyed people. I remember as a child reading the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie because my dad had it on his bookshelf. He survived the ‘dirty thirties’ as a child because he was taught to make do with whatever he had. He also had grit and determination because he was electrocuted when he was in his mid 40’s. He lost part of his arm, leg, and fingers and had to fight through several painful surgeries while in the burn unit. My dad was full of wisdom because of his life experiences. Andy Rooney once said, “I’ve learned that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.” I may not have sat at my dad’s feet, but I did sit at his side and learned so much from him.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My oldest grandson is 11 so in 10 years I see myself sitting at his college graduation. 💙🎓🥰 I pray I’m healthy and enjoying life to the fullest.
What advice do you have for aspiring educator Mustangs?
To be that champion for children. To truly care about them because “kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Develop those relationships with them. Get to know them on a more personal level. Use the 2 x 10 theory with as many students as you can. It’s a relationship building technique. Spend 2 minutes a day for 10 days consecutive days with an individual student to help you get to know that person on a deeper level. Never ever give up on your students. And give those young people your very best EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. They deserve nothing less than YOUR very best!
Dr. Wendy & Mrs. Julie (Pohlman) Kelly presenting on “Undergraduate Action Research at a Glance…” at the 2009 ASCD Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Wendy & Amanda Meyer (her office helper the past three years).
Dr. Wendy & her advisees
This concludes the three-part blog focusing on the adventures of Mustang Educators: Ms. Devyn Coté, Mrs. Julie Kelly, and Dr. Wendy Schoolmeester. Their passion for education and people is felt around the world without a doubt. Each generation of Mustang educators continues to impact the next… the circle of education.
Stay calm & find adventures!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.