Nov 30, 2011 6:08 PM by Andy Koen
Not all teachers start their careers in the classroom, and often that outside experience can prove invaluable.
Linda Kliesen has taught third grade at Sunset Park Elementary in Pueblo for 11 years but began her career as an operation manager for Montgomery Ward.
In fact, she says her husband was the teacher of the family. But there was something about his work that she wanted for herself.
"Everyday he would come home and he enjoyed what he did," she remembered.
After filling in a few times for him as a substitute, Linda decided to go back to school to earn her education degree.
Despite the career change, the markings of her business background still show through in her teaching. For example, each week she encourages her students to set "smart goals."
"It has to be something they attain each week and they write it down and at the end of the week we reflect on that," Linda explained.
Along with boosting their self-confidence, Linda says the goals also help her students to grow academically toward the fourth grade.
"I came from 4th grade and I know where they have to go and I push them to that level."
By encouraging that growth, Linda has found her own reward. "I get a smile on my face when I see them learning," she said. "it's just, it's a feeling that is so exciting."