Meet Hanna Willroth: MTR 2012 Grad

hanna willroth

Name: Hanna Willroth
MTR Graduation Year: 2012
Employed at: Cornerstone Prep-Lester Campus
Undergrad: The University of Texas, 2011, Applied Learning and Development
Hometown: The Woodlands, TX

How long have you been teaching? 
This is my first year as a “real” first year teacher but I have been doing some form of teaching since my first student teaching experience in Spring of 2010.

Why did you initially want to be a teacher? 
I can’t think of a time that I didn’t want to be a teacher. Growing up I loved school and no other job possibility ever appealed to me.

Did you have a particular teacher in your life that inspired you? 
My mom teaches high school and she is an inspiration because I don’t feel like I could ever teach high schoolers! Also, I had a number of different teachers in elementary school that grew my love for learning and school. One in particular, Ms. Rodriguez, shared her love of books with me giving me book recommendations and even a copy of one of her favorite books, Little House on the Prairie.

What was your first day in front of a classroom like? 
My first day in front of a classroom back in 2010 was a mess. I soon found myself being attacked by children and puppets in the classroom library and quickly learned that teaching is not about being a friend or a babysitter, but a consistent leader in the classroom who students love because they respect you and can look up to not because you will entertain them.

How has your approach changed over time?
Given the opportunity to teach Kindergarten this year for my “real” first year teaching has definitely allowed me to find more of a balance of being strict but also being warm and loving to my students.

What do you expect from your students? I expect all of my students to show effort and growth. It is amazing to see just how far students can go when you don’t put a cap on your expectations, but instead keep pushing them each time that they grow and meet goals.

What makes an effective teacher? 
I think effective teachers are always looking for ways that they can get better. Sometimes my co-teacher and I will video our students during transitions or work-times and then we will all watch them and have the students analyze what they can do better. Then we tell them that we do the exact same thing as teachers. As they become more effective students we are also working to become more effective teachers by always looking for ways to improve.

What makes a great teacher? 
Great teachers create a love of learning in students. When I think back to teachers that I had that were great, I don’t love them because they were nice, friendly, or gave easy assignments, but because their classroom was somewhere that I wanted to be because we had fun while learning. We worked incredibly hard, but there was joy and purpose in what we did. I know now that great teachers work incredibly hard outside of the classroom, but their work inside the classroom looks simple because they love the work they are doing.
What advice would you give to a brand-new teacher? Don’t get discouraged and find joy in what you are doing everyday.