Siri (Flesher) Preston '03
- Language Arts and History teacher
- Covington Middle School, Vancouver, Wash.
“In my current job I need to analyze and model the processes of reading, writing, communicating and critical thinking in order to make it accessible to kids. This involves breaking it down to individual skills, looking at each part and figuring out how to scaffold the process in order for students to, ultimately, put it back together independently. One of the most challenging aspects of teaching for me is providing students with enough support to access the content without taking away their discovery process or forcing them towards the conclusion that I expect them to draw.
“Working with students on their writing and watching them beam with pride when I point out things like the power of their word choice or how they found their writing voice for the first time is really a joy. It is a privilege to be a part of a young person’s growing up process; just to witness it and to be able to tell them that I can see it happening is special.
“One notable aspect in preparing me for my career as a Humanities teacher was the small size of PLU’s classes as compared with some larger universities. It not only allowed for inquiry based learning and discussion, but I was able to form connections with my professors and classmates as well. Especially in my literature and writing classes, the process of doing my own thinking and finding new ways of looking at texts through a variety of lenses was also very powerful. Despite the fact that I am on the shy side, I wasn’t afraid to take risks in discussion or writing. These are all qualities I valued as a PLU student and strive to incorporate in my own teaching.”