A great teacher is many things.
She’s a mirror. “If they see your excitement in learning, then they’re excited about learning.”
She’s a circus ringleader. “This is a lot of noise and a lot of mess — but they’re learning something. This stuff that they’re doing now, they won’t forget.”
And years down the road, she’s an inspiration. “They say ‘You’re the reason why I became a nurse.’ Or ‘You’re the reason why I became a teacher.'”
Mrs. Harry Summers is a great teacher. And she has been for a long time. “This is my twenty-ninth year.”
She’s spent all those years with first graders at Roosevelt Elementary School in Minot. That grade level, she says, is crucial.
“That’s where our education career begins!” she says.
So do her students like coming to school? “Most definitely!” says Kaileigh Taylor, a first grader at Roosevelt.
“She’s nice,” says Eli Maxson, another first grader. “She likes history, like I do.”
“Sometimes when we’re good, she cheers and stuff,” Taylor says. (Because a great teacher is a cheerleader, too.)
But when the final bell rings this school year, Mrs. Summers will retire — and send her kids out into the world for the last time.
“I am leaving this because I feel like my time here is done,” Summers says. “The things that we do here will break my heart to leave… but I feel like it’s the right thing to do.”
And after three decades of molding young minds, this teacher will become one more thing: a legacy-leaver.
“I am a teacher. That is my life, and that is my passion,” she says.
Mrs. Harry Summers is Someone You Should Know.
Harry says she plans to spend her retirement in Minot, close to family.