Britt Meets School Principal Paula Reber
Posted on September 18 2018
To the person who taught me every person has a story. I am so happy to share yours. xx
There are certain people who have been a part of this project (and who are upcoming features) who I have a difficult time writing about. I often wait until the last minute to journal about their conversation because it gives me this weird feeling of anxiety mixed with joy. (I think because these particular individuals have had such a profound impact on my life in some way shape or form so the expectation I set on myself and my writing is extreme. I almost look at it as my THANK YOU to them. Anyways...)
(Also, MAJOR THANK YOU to F Equals for sharing)
Paula is one of them.
So, who is Paula Reber?
She was my most favorite teacher in elementary school.
PS: DISCLAIMER* I apologize in advance for my grammar Ms. Reber. I told you this is like my online journal 🧚♂️
I asked Merriam-Webster what the definition of Teacher was...
“One that teaches. One whose occupation is to instruct.”
(Profound #sarcasm...not exactly what I was going for but OK)
So I thought some more...
And I think of it a little differently... actually a lot differently... or maybe I should just say a bit more evolved with a lot more responsibility. So if I were to give you THE SMOOTHIE DEFINITION OF TEACHER it would look like this...
T E A C H E R : R O L E M O D E L
When I think of this idea of a “teacher” I truly can’t compare anything other than role model. It is in my opinion the most accurate representation of a #rolemodel.
I have often compared this project (#SMOOTHIECONVERSATIONS) to LIFE SCHOOL and each interviewee is one of my great professors. Teaching me something about LIFE each and every time.
So deciding to add Paula to a list of my other great LIFE teachers was a no brainer. In fact, it was a little extra special and I hope she knows that. When she agreed to participate in #SMOOTHIECONVERSATIONS 🥤 I WAS ELATED.
My first AND second grade teacher who is now the Principal of The Lewisburg Area High School (where I grew up in Pennsylvania) said she would have a smoothie with me. YAY!
If THAT doesn’t scream #GIRLBOSS I really don’t know what does.
Side note, no I wasn’t held back or anything like that to have her for first AND second grade... there is this program called LOOPING and me and a lucky few got to have Ms. Reber for a few years. I digress...
Early childhood education and development is one of the most important if not THE most important professions one can accept the responsibility of. There is a direct correlation between the development of social, physical, and especially EMOTIONAL skills that has a major effect on who a child becomes as an adult in LIFE.
To those that hold this title: I applaud you. Your impact can’t even be explained. You have the opportunity to help build a foundation for a person. PEOPLE. Let that sink in...
To those teachers that go the extra mile and CARE, I send you the biggest virtual hug! ⭐️
Aside from the necessities one learns in 1st and 2nd grade, (addition, reading, I don’t even know. Spelling?? I can’t remember!!!) Ms. Reber was special because she taught with EMPATHY. Aside from my mom, she was one person in my early stages of LIFE who taught me about the importance of morals and values. LIFE LESSONS that are in my opinion far greater than 2+2. (Not that 4 is not important but yanno) She taught us about gratitude in a way a 1st grade teacher does to her students. Like why we should send handwritten thank you notes. She encouraged nurturing relationships and making eye contact with people when speaking to them.
Those are the things I remember and those are the things I carry with me today.
Dear LAHS, you are oh so lucky to have this person leading those Dragons.
Ms. Reber. I heart you. ⭐️
You were in elementary education before transitioning to your role as Principal at Lewisburg Area High School, how did your early days in teaching affect your role today as a leader at the high school?
It’s funny how life takes you on this unexpected journey because I really would have never thought I would be sitting here in the role of Principal. I look at my job as a responsibility. One I take very seriously. I really like to focus on building relationships with our students and that has been something I have been doing in education since day one.
Why is building healthy relationships so important to you?
Kids are kids. They want to be valued and they want to be listened to. They want to matter. The first step in ALL of that is building relationships and a connection. You have to get to know them as people. This is much easier to do in an elementary class setting where you see 24 kids in one day. Bringing this idea to the high school level was more challenging because there are a lot more kids to look out for. My goal here at the high school is for every kid in my building to have a caring adult they can go to and connect with.
Why is the role of teacher so necessary? And how have you turned difficult times in your life into teaching moments?
We as teachers have this incredible opportunity to elevate kids. As humans we are so quick to judge people, without really taking the time to get to know someone. Growing up I had my shares of ups and downs. You know my grades were good but there was turmoil happening at home. First unknowingly but then purposefully in the later half in my career, I was able to see how those negative experiences have provided me the opportunity to connect and relate with a lot of people, especially my students.
My grandmother and definitely Oprah.
CHEERS TO THAT SISTER.
Until next week,
GO DRINK A SMOOTHIE. It’s a way of life.