Cassie has been with Marklund Day School for 5 years, moving up from a paraprofessional to teacher to Instructional Coach with Marklund Day School-Geneva.
Q. What attracted you to Marklund Day School as a teacher?
I actually started my career here at Marklund as a paraprofessional, but that is not actually what I applied for. I originally applied for a teaching position in a Multi-Needs classroom. As fate would have it, I didn’t get the job, but this was for good reason, I had no idea that schools like Marklund existed as I was just coming out of college. Then about a week later Marklund called and offered me a paraprofessional position in the Life Skills department. I was so intrigued with the day school after my initial tour and observation that I accepted and embarked on this adventure. I was a paraprofessional for about two months when I was offered a long-term subbing position. I was the long term substitute for only about 6 months when Paula, and the rest of the Marklund team, convinced me to become the full-time life skills teacher! Transitioning into the teacher role was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was also the best decision I ever made!
Q. What attracted you to this position as Instructional Coach?
Being a first year teacher is very challenging. I struggled a lot during my first couple years. This ignited a new passion of mine; supporting teachers to navigate the teaching role at Marklund. I want to help teachers so they can provide the best education for their students! I love figuring out how people (teachers/students) learn information/skills! I can definitely nerd out on these topics!
Q. What are your priorities for working with other teachers and the students?
My priority for the teachers is to support them so that they can create, implement, and reflect on different sustainable instructional strategies and approaches. This will then benefit the students because the teachers will be giving their students the best education possible.
Q. What challenges do you face in this role?
I think that the biggest challenge that I am facing right now is transitioning from being a teacher. I am still trying to get a feel for what my new “day to day” will look like. I am currently taking an instructional coaching class to further my skill set as an instructional leader. I have already learned so much from this class, and I am excited to see what else it has in store!
Q. What would you say to other teachers thinking about a career move to Marklund Day School?
I would say it is 100% worth all the work! I tell people that when you finally see a student succeed it is like magic before your eyes!
Q. What vision would you like to see for MDS’s faculty as the world moves on from the pandemic?
The pandemic seemed to have put a lot of extra stress onto all the employees at MDS. Teaching remotely isn’t ideal at all! My vision would be for the staff to feel less stressed about COVID exposures or having to teach remotely as we move away from the pandemic.
Q. What’s the best part about working at MDS?
There are so many great things about working for Marklund, but if I could pick one thing it is that we are always student centered and because of that everyone at the day school is always willing to help out a student or coworker in need. It is pretty rare in the educational world for administrators to work directly with students when a classroom needs support. This is a daily occurrence here!