“In high school I was in denial,” Alexa Foelske said; “I did not want to teach, but when people I love and respect kept saying I should do it, I figured there must be some truth to it....”
Alexa Foelske is one who appreciates the wisdom of others.
So, when some of the teachers who had the most significant influence on her began suggesting she consider a career in teaching, Foelske took that advice seriously.
“In high school I was in denial,” she said. “I did not want to teach, but when people I love and respect kept saying I should do it, I figured there must be some truth to it.”
So, Foelske, who grew up in Manitowoc, Wis., opted to get a degree in education.
She would, however, take a different route than most educators, as Foelske attended Martin Luther College in New Ulm with the plan to teach in a parochial school.
Having received her education in a paro-chial school setting, Foelske determined she wanted to be able to offer that same kind of education to others.
Foelske earned a degree in elementary education with a minor in music, and this fall she began her first teaching job at St. John Lutheran School in Redwood Falls.
Foelske is teaching third and fourth graders everything from grammar and literature to science, and she said it has been a good experience so far.
“Things have been great,” she said. “The kids are great.”
She added the staff at the school have been extremely helpful and accommodating, as she continues to settle into her new role.
As a three-quarter time educator, Foelske shares the teaching tasks with Dave Gart-ner, who also serves as the school principal.
“Mr. Gartner has been a big help,” she said, adding it is nice to have a colleague who is working with the same students who she can go to with questions and to get advice.
Foelske said there are 18 students in third and fourth grade, and she said teaching both grades is not really that challenging.
“The students are used to it, because they have done it before,” she said, adding for some subjects the classes actually learn together.
Although Foelske’s own education focused on paro-chial education, she was exposed to public education during her college years, as she did her student teaching at Reede Gray.
She said that was a great experience. It also helped her as she acclimated to her new role in a community she was familiar with when she arrived as an educator.
Foelske said working with younger students, including doing a clinical with kindergarten students, convinced her teaching at the elementary level was her niche.
Being with third and fourth graders is ideal, she added, as they are at an age where they still like coming to school and yet as older elementary aged students can do more independent learning and thinking.
Foelske said she was called to the local school, as that is the traditional pro-cess, and even though there were other prospects the decision to come to Red-wood Falls is one she feels was right.
One aspect of teaching at a parochial school Foelske appreciates is the faith element, which means she offers education dealing with the beliefs of the WELS denomination which is affiliated with the school.
Not only can she teach religion classes, she can incorporate that faith-based element into other areas of learning. One can’t do that in other school settings.
Foelske got married this summer. Her husband, Micah, is finishing up his education degree at Martin Luther College.
He is pursuing a secondary education degree.
Foelske said she is the first educator in her family.
When she is not in school, Foelske enjoys watching her sister, a student at Martin Luther College, play volleyball. She also enjoys spending time reading.
For Foelske, teaching was the right decision.