By: Eileen Jaksik
Mrs. DeWaal is a teacher here at Pleasanton High School. Before she decided to become a teacher she was a pharmacist, but she says that she got very bored and wanted to change directions in her career. She says, “It was an accident, I didn’t like the pharmacy job I had and I wanted to change directions and I wanted to go into the medical field and they required me to take an elective. I thought the easiest elective was student teaching and after taking it I saw that I enjoyed it a lot and I decided to try it for a year to see if I would like it and I did.”
Ever since she started teaching she fell in love with it and has now been teaching for 5 years. She fell in love with being with her students and helping out around the school. Mrs. DeWaal contributes to the school by running the Pleasanton Pacesetters, running the science club, and helping out with dual credit classes all while juggling her regular and AP classes. Mrs. DeWaal has a lot on her plate and has a lot of things going on and she still keeps her head up high and has a smile on her face, She says “It’s been tough, several mental breakdowns… but overall it is so worth it”
Juggling all of her classes and extra contributions is not the only stressful thing she is going through. We are all trying to adjust to the new COVID-19 restrictions, but the teachers have the worst of it out of everyone. Mrs. DeWaal says that it has changed her way of teaching and the way she sees her students. “It has caused me to be more reflective on my teaching, on my learning, and has made me pay more attention to what the student needs as an individual and as a whole class. I’m really stepping back and realizing that not a lot of students have a lot of support because they’re at home and they’re having to go through school and stuff on their own. So I’ve had to modify a lot of my lectures, videotape my lectures, videotape notes, have examples, and zoom.” she says.
Even though this year has been really hard for Mrs. DeWaal, she still loves to teach and she says that she loves seeing her students succeed and just building that bond with her students is what she looks forward to when waking up in the morning.
Mrs. DeWaal has contributed so much to this school, and our whole school is thankful for her and her hard work. Thank you, Mrs. DeWaal!