Name: Heather Siminski
Subject: English for 6th-8th grade
Phone Number: 360.709.7476
What kinds of jobs have you had? What is your educational background?
I have my Master's in Teaching from City University and my B.A. in psychology from Seattle Pacific University. I taught a student support program at Yelm High School for study and organizational skills. Previously, I taught English and math at Yelm Middle school. I have also worked as a respite care provider, special needs tutor, paraeducator, and piano teacher. I also have been a catering server, camp counselor, daycare teacher, cashier, administrative assistant, parking enforcement patrol officer, and family help line coach.
Why did you become a teacher?
I originally was considering becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist or school counselor. As I researched these programs and starting working as a paraeducator, I realized that these positions allowed only for interactions at crisis moments. While there was a lot I could do there, I really loved the day-to-day nature of teaching and being a part of those a-ha moments with students and families. I realized that what I really loved about counseling was the teaching part of it - teaching people how to understand themselves and others, create strategies for better success, and learning how to become the best version of oneself. It was at that point that I decided to pursue teaching. As for the decision to be in special education, I loved working in those programs as a paraeducator. As an ADD adult, I have also learned a lot about myself and ADD, strategies for making life easier, and that I have a lot to offer although it may often look different from many around me. As I worked with students learning to deal with and appreciate the pieces that make them unique, I loved being able to share what I learned as I struggled through many similar challenges. I had always deeply appreciated the input from older people who experienced life as I do. I hope to be that person for my students.
Although you basically live at school, what else do you do?
I still play piano and have recently added cello. I play both instruments with my church and the cello with the South Puget Sound Community Orchestra. I love swing dancing especially the Lindy Hop. I also swim, love kayaking, painting at Painted Plate, and good coffee! Last (but not least) I spend a lot of time with my only Teacher's Pet - Ebony. She often assists with grading and emails. : )