LIBERTY — The 2019-20 school year is bringing a special opportunity to Manor Hill Elementary School second-grade teacher Jill Eltiste as she will be working with a former student.
“I knew I would be an educator forever, but I never thought I would get to work side by side with a student,” she said.
That student is Megan Hansen, a first-year second-grade teacher at Manor Hill, 1400 S. Skyline Drive. She is teaching in the same classroom Eltiste taught her in when she was a second-grader in 2004. Additionally, it is the same classroom Hansen’s mother, Lisa Hansen, taught in for years.
“It is exciting to get to see a former student move into the role of educator,” Eltiste said. “It’s fun to see it come full circle.”
With her looking for a teaching position at the exact time there was an opening available in addition to the position being in the second grade where her former teacher could mentor her was a unique circumstance, Megan said.
“I never really thought it would happen,” she said. “It’s kind of crazy how it all just happened.”
Both of Megan’s parents were teachers. With that influence coupled with the teachers she had over the years, Megan said she has wanted to be an educator since childhood. Megan added she enjoys second grade because students tend to like teachers and are sweet while also maturing and learning independence.
“I think I’m most anxious about getting through and teaching all my procedures and classroom management,” Megan said. “Since I am a first-year teacher, I know I will make mistakes.”
Eltiste said it’s her job as a mentor to support Megan and help her adjust, allowing her to ask questions without worry.
“I just encourage her,” Eltiste said. “I’ve kind of shared with her that I am still making mistakes as a seasoned teacher and that I am still learning the process. We are going to learn together.”
The interview process leading to her unique and “exciting” circumstance was two-fold, Megan said. First was an online interview then a second with a cohort.
Contacted by Manor Hill Principal Valerie Utecht when offered the position, Megan said the job offer came quickly.
“I got a call back the same day saying I had gotten a job here at Manor Hill,” Megan said.
Both teachers said they are excited to get to know their students.
“Every day is a new adventure, and that is why I love teaching,” Eltiste said. “It is always an exciting challenge and I love the challenge of teaching.”