Meet the Teacher: Rauen loves aha moments when students realize they understand a concept

Shelli Rauen and her family. (Submitted photo)

Name: Shelli Rauen, second grade teacher  

School:  Gateway Polytechnic Academy

What I like most about what I do:  Hands down, I love what I do for those aha moments the kids have when they realize they understand the concept.  The smiles that come with that moment are heartwarming. 

Where did you come from:  I am originally from Arvada, Colorado, but moved here after living on the western slope of Colorado in Grand Junction.  I have lived in Utah, California, Florida, as well as Colorado. 

If I had picked a different occupation it might have been:  When I was growing up, my friends and I always played nurse or school. I have a caring personality and either of these professions would suit me. When I was in high school and ready to go to college, I was talked out of teaching by a family member. I worked in the legal profession for many years before realizing my heart was still attracted to teaching.

What I’m looking forward to most this school year:  Each year is always a new adventure when you are a teacher.  Each group of kids coming into my life have such varied personalities so there is no way to look forward to one thing. 

My vision for the school:  I want to work in an environment that is cohesive and inviting for staff and our community.

People who inspired me (and how):  It is hard to pinpoint any one person who has inspired me.  I respect people who work hard for what they want and achieve that goal.  Definitely go after your dream. 

One thing I want students to know about me:  I like to have a good time in class but it should not be chaotic. My class is full of inclusion and we interact a lot.

One thing I want parents to know about me:  My educational background has not always been as a teacher. I have 18 years experience working with students and started as an aide in the classroom. I have high expectations for my class.  My class has strong routine and consistency, but I love these children deeply and will find myself thinking of them every day even when I’m not at work. 

My advice to today’s youth:  Enjoy life, travel, and dream big.  Set your goal and find the best way to achieve it.  Ask for help because other people have knowledge and they probably know how to get you headed in the right direction.

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