A daily record of gratitude; from quilting to photography to a mix of technology, books, movies and the musings of life!

Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!

Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two (or paragraph or two) about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!

Friday, July 27, 2018

#CelebrateOthers with Crofton Middle School Teacher - Sue Casler

I recently ran into Crofton Middle School Teacher (English AKA Language Arts..or is the other way around?), Sue Casler, in the grocery store, and once we got talking and catching up with each other, I knew she was someone I had to talk to further. And although she is enjoying her summer, her passion is teaching, and she loves being in the classroom. What? Teaching Middle School? It's one of the most difficult age groups to teach! What about all that classroom management jazz? I had to dig a little deeper with Ms. Casler...a very well respected and much loved teacher in our community, including "The Best Daughter" who had Ms. Casler as an 8th grader.

Interestingly enough, when I was a substitute teacher for the county back in the day, I subbed quite a bit for Sue; and she always had the greatest lesson plans for me to follow. Her students were good and respectful despite a sub they could "mess" with. In fact, Sue was voted Anne Arundel County Public School Teacher of the Year in 2006; and that honor was well deserved for this dynamo! I asked further about the award, and Sue commented that she was shocked to win it, but it was an overall wonderful experience.

Before teaching, Sue spent 20 years in the corporate world but was always interested in teaching. So why the change when her career in industry was going so well for her? She stated that she saw smart, college educated employees that had a lack of good writing skills. In fact, Sue helped a young man finesse a letter to sales customer when the proverbial lightbulb went off for her. Not too long after that, she saw a tiny blurb in her church bulletin about being a "career changer", albeit she would have to teach for five years in a Catholic school. She took this as a "sign" to go for it!  She methodically sought out and won a scholarship for a Masters Degree in Education and left the business world to teach in the classroom.

She never looked back and has never regretted a moment! Now, that is truly amazing, don't you think?

For the past 26 years in teaching, she has had a plethora of unbelievable experiences, and most of them, any teacher could apply for she said. But because Sue is one to take advantage of these "golden" opportunities, she applied for and won a Fulbright (teaching) scholarship where she was able to go to China for five weeks during the summer of 2007, and not only enjoy what China had to offer at the time, but brought back and implemented her experiences into the classroom. She commented that the experience was "lovely", as China was preparing for the Beijing Summer Olympics for 2008, it was a very busy place. One thing that Sue mentioned, and it makes total sense, is that while she was in China, and trying to read "simple" street signs, she could not. It was the first time that she felt "illiterate." That would be difficult for anyone, I believe, unless you can read Mandarin Chinese, but it was that odd feeling of not understanding that is difficult. Let's face it many folks can't read, in Chinese or English, a sad fact worldwide.

Astonishingly, China was just introducing Special Education into their schools at that time too, so they were eager to learn from the 30 teachers from all over the USA that ventured on the trip along with Sue. Following the trip, Sue started a Chinese Club where they tried their hand at calligraphy and also made shadow puppets. Sue even wrote a play called: "Dragon Wings", where her students performed the play at the school. Sue continued to develop programs for other Fulbright teachers and presented her ideas at the county level as well.

So what inspires this orange loving gal? If you guessed teaching, you get an A+ for comprehension! Yes, Sue is inspired by ALL of her students (I believe her!). She declared that since she arrived at CMS in 2000, the Patriots Pen essay contest sponsored by the VFW, really makes her heart sing. She explained that this contest brings out the best in each student as they strive to write and become stewards of handling civic responsibility. The kids bring her great joy, and that most of her students even surprise themselves at how well they could write or "compete" in any other academic discipline.

Thankfully, Sue loves the idea that learning is lifelong and that everyday there is something to be positive about. I believe Sue instills these nuggets in all her students, and they all are better for it for sure!

Sue continues to serve her community by writing curriculum, conducts seminars on teaching strategies and holds various leadership positions. She is chair of the Language Art Department at CMS and is a National Board Certified Teacher!

Lastly, Sue and her husband Doug will be celebrating 46 years of marriage this September. She has two children. Her daughter Heather, who incidentally, is a career changer like her Mama, is a middle school science teacher in Anne Arundel County. Her son Marc is a government employee. She has three grandchildren 10, 8 and 2.

In addition to all the above, Sue revealed that she is sustained by her faith, and service is all a part of being a good Christian along with helping others. And teaching, as they say, is a large part of that motto.

BSoleille! The bright side of CelebratingOthers with Sue Casler!


Sue today!

Sue winning the 2006 Anne Arundel County Teacher of the Year

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