With the 2013-2014 school year nearly halfway completed, teacher Heather Wilder shares her excitement for teaching middle school and high school English and language arts at Mabel-Canton.
“I have always had a passion for writing and reading, and I enjoy being able to share that passion with our students,” she said. “Our students are going to be communicating with people for the rest of their lives, whether it is through writing or speaking. It is vital that they have a solid foundation to communicate effectively and I truly enjoy helping students develop those skills.”
Wilder’s position at Mabel-Canton is her first as a teacher. She student taught at Winona Senior High School and Rushford-Peterson Middle School. Being a 2007 graduate of LeRoy-Ostrander and a 2011 graduate of Winona State, Wilder is not only familiar with the area, but also relates to the Mabel-Canton students living and learning in a small community.
“Coming from a small town in southeast Minnesota, I have always had a desire to settle in a similar community,” Wilder explained. “Mabel is such an inviting town. I enjoy the ‘closeness’ of the community, as well as its generosity. The community goes to great lengths to take care of its own, and the same concept exists in the school. It is truly a great place to live and teach.”
With several months behind her and many experiences with her students and co-faculty, Wilder said her year has been enjoyable so far and she anticipates that the rest of the year will continue in that direction.
“It has been a great start,” she added. “It is always a challenge whenever one takes on a new job or position. The first few months always seem to be the most challenging because there is so much to learn and to adjust to. This has proven to be true; however, the students are great, and all of the teachers and administrators have been more than helpful to ensure that the transition has gone smoothly.”
In addition to teaching English and language arts, Wilder serves on the Reading PLC (Professional Learning Community). Together, she and other members seek ways to improve students' reading scores on standard tests. “My goal is to challenge students to improve and really focus on what their personal goal is and figure out how they can reach it,” she added.
As Wilder spends time with her students, her main goal as an educator is to help prepare the young people for their futures. “It doesn't matter if they are going to a university, a junior college, the service, or straight to the work force. We need to prepare them for the future to ensure they are successful in whatever they choose to do,” Wilder said.
It has always been her desire to help people and to make a difference in their lives. “What better way to do that than to help children be prepared to move on and be successful in life?,” she asked.
Wilder’s husband, Adam, is a native of Mabel and serves as the Mabel-Canton Cougars’ varsity girls basketball coach. They live in Mabel and have a 15-month-old son, Graysen.
In her spare time, Wilder enjoys spending time with her family, attending sporting events, running and reading.