39 years of making a difference

Aysha Mirza, Editor-in-chief

    A teacher touches lives every day. The number of impacts made in just a year is countless. But for Ready Set Teach and Principles of Education teacher Linda Fetters, her 39 years of teaching have made incomparable impacts.

   With so much experience in the education field, Fetters was given the job opportunity to teach Principles of education and Ready Set Teach three years ago. With this job, she has helped hundreds of students become teachers in the future. But after suddenly being given a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity Fetters has decided to retire in February and move to Georgetown, Texas to be a private nanny. 

     “My husband and I met Christopher (who I will be working for) eight years ago through my son, and since then we have become like parents to him and his wife Courtney,” Fetters said. “They now have a son named Finn but need someone to take care of him after Courtney started having pregnancy issues with their second baby. So we will live in a house that Christopher has purchased for me and my husband and will work together taking care of him.”

     Deciding to leave in the middle of the year was a hard decision. But Fetters explained to her students how right this decision felt and has received full support since. 

   “My husband’s health gave me the big push,” she said. “He had his first heart attack in 1999 and is the first in his family to survive a heart attack. More recently, though, my husband had open-heart surgery three years ago. We have also been dealing with health issues with my youngest son since he was three when he had cancer. So when this opportunity came up, it just felt the safest.” 

     A teacher’s schedule can become very time-consuming especially with how dedicated Fetters has been to make sure her students are well prepared. 

     “I live, sleep, and breathe my job,” Fetters said. “In my mind, I have all these years of experience so I have had to be a model teacher in order to teach my students how to be the best teacher in the future that they can be. So if I am not ready, how is that going to affect my students?”

     Although the schedule and time it takes is tough, the effort Fetters has put in has helped her students in so many ways. 

     “Mrs. Fetters always came to class with a smile on her face and it shows that she spends so much time and effort on her job,” senior Ready Set Teach student Kendal Rushing said. “You can tell she truly loves what she does and cares about all of her students. This has impacted me because she spent so much time and effort getting me my placements for RST and teaching me everything I need to know to be successful in the field site.”

   Fetters said that while she will miss the school environment, she looks forward to her new flexibility helping prepare Finn for his future. 

   “We plan to prepare Finn for kindergarten and help make sure he succeeds,” Fetters explained. “But now that I will have the time to find more hobbies, I plan to take golf lessons. And I want to learn how to do ceramics and stained glass but really just get artsy – stuff that I can’t do because of my busy teaching schedule.”

     While Fetters plans for her big move and prepares for the rest of the year’s plans for the next teacher, her students reflect on their favorite memories with her. 

   “My favorite memory with Mrs. Fetters is the first day of Principles of Education and Training my freshman year,” senior Lina Ruiz said. “I wasn’t aware of it then, but that’s the day when I got to know what kind of exciting experience I would have for the rest of my high school experience thanks to her motivating attitude.”

     Fetters has always made sure to make her class an exciting and welcoming environment. While she makes sure to prepare her students for their future careers, Fetters also makes sure to have fun with her students.

   “We were doing a game and Mrs. Fetters had to climb on top of some of the desks to close the blinds and we all just thought it was so funny,” sophomore Lea Connerly said. “It just showed that she can be a really fun teacher.”

   Part of being such a welcoming teacher like Fetters is genuinely loving the job. Fetters said she has known since high school that teaching is what she wanted and now she helps encourage her own students in their future teaching careers.

   “Her teaching has helped me reflect on what kind of teacher I would like to be in the future,” Ruiz said. “I want to be a kind, respectful, and flexible one, just like Mrs. Fetters.”

   The opportunity Fetters has is one of a kind. She gets to interact with students in ways most teachers don’t get to. 

   “I have a wonderful position at Martin,” Fetters explained, “And as upset as I am to leave, I know that I am giving this amazing position to someone else which has helped me let go a little bit.”

   But to Fetters, being in the class and interacting with her students has been the most memorable part of her career. 

   “This position has been the cherry on top,” she said. “Having young people care as much as you do about doing a good job has been the best gift because you guys are such amazing people in who you are and to see all the amazing qualities of amazing teachers in each of you. You are going to make a difference. And the fact that I was a part of that has been the most memorable.”