Posted by Stillwater Christian School at 11/9/2016 9:00:00 AM
SCS third grade teacher, Andy Harrel, comes to the end of his first quarter as a full-time faculty member at the school, and it's certainly been a busy few months. "It's a wonderful class," he shared about his students. "They are a competitive bunch, though, and definitely keep me on my toes!"
Getting to know the kids in his class, not just as a group but individually as well, has been the most rewarding aspect of his new school role. Each child has his own story to share, and working with kids at this age, Harrel appreciates how honest they are about their excitement. "It's very easy to tell if they're engaged in learning. There's no faking it at this age!"
Last week he took his class to Kalispell's Central School Museum, a field trip opportunity offered to third grade children across the valley. And it was very easy to observe that the students were engaged in the history around them. Definitely a worthwhile trip, children enjoyed learning what it was like to be instructed in a one-room schoolhouse setting - sitting in old-fashioned desks, writing with chalk on slate boards, and playing schoolyard games from long ago. The tour offered plenty of objects to touch and explore, including an interactive display of Flathead Lake. Sharing stories about the first settlers of the Flathead, tour guides told how they were influenced by the geography of the area, and the class left with a better understanding of our valley's early days.
He may be new to the full-time position, but Mr. Harrel really isn't new to the SCS community. An SCS alumnus, he earned his teaching degree from Crown College in Minnesota in 2011, but he's been substituting and coaching at Stillwater intermittently over the past 10 years. As much as he loves teaching at Stillwater, Harrel admits that the decision to join the faculty full-time was not an easy one. Passionate about the game of basketball, he had been playing professional ball overseas prior to this teaching experience. In fact, just one month after accepting his Stillwater position, he was offered a full-time player's contract in China. Yet he chose to stay true to his commitment, and he's grateful for this decision.
This year Mr. Harrel will also fill new shoes at Stillwater as the men's varsity basketball coach. Yes, it will be a busy season for him. But it's all good - he loves his time on the court and in the classroom.