Preschool teacher also mentors middle-school students
Meet Diane Hediger, the teacher on the cover of our Summer 2019 issue.
Name: Diane Hediger
School: Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Grade/subject you teach: PreK-four; seventh- and eighth grade Future City Program
Tell us about your family: My husband, Chris, and children, Joel, Zach, and Nicole, are all very supportive of my work. They have come in over the summer and on weekends to help me implement new ideas. Joel is now in college in Pittsburgh. Zach and Nicole attend Archbishop Wood High School, where they are very active in the STEM program and performing arts.
When you were the age of your students, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think it was a toss-up between a mail carrier and a teacher.
What were your favorite subjects in school? I loved science and math.
What are you reading right now? The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally by David Elkind, PhD.
Is your desk at school messy or neat? Messy, but I know where everything is! Working with preschoolers requires a fluid classroom.
Outside of school, what do you enjoy? Besides reading at the beach, I love to take long walks and visit historic sites in Philadelphia over the summer.
What’s your favorite holiday or season to celebrate at school? I have to go with the Big Three: Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas. They happen so fast, it feels like one holiday. We start by thanking God for our gifts, then prepare for the biggest gift of all: the birth of Jesus. To begin the season, we have a Thanksgiving feast with the entire preschool. Then we begin to decorate our Christmas tree with angels we earn by doing acts of kindness as a way of preparing for Jesus. This all culminates with a Christmas pageant that celebrates his birth.
What about your students makes you proudest? For my preschoolers, it is when they make their own books and then read them to the class. This shows me how they have grown and how much confidence they have in their own work. For the seventh- and eighth-graders at Future City, it is the way they inspire each other to create solutions to real-world problems.
What do you like best about your school? Our principal, Sr. Margaret, and the faculty and staff together promote an atmosphere of respect and encouragement that helps our students pursue their dreams.
Why do you choose to teach in a Catholic school? I believe that Catholic education provides children with a faith base that will help them meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.
Favorite classroom prayer: Thank you, God, for our snack today.
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