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Heather Teaches While Most Are Still Learning


Heather Wheatley is back in the classroom. The senior, who is majoring in elementary education with an English as a second language endorsement, teaches fifth-grade math as a substitute at Waverly Immediate School near Lincoln.




“My experience at Waverley Immediate School has been absolutely wonderful because my cooperating teacher has handed over the lead teaching position, which has given me a ton of vital experience,” Heather says.


Applying what she learned from her professors has given Heather the confidence she needs to teach the next generation of leaders. Heather also gives high praise to the Northeast Nebraska Teacher’s Academy (NENTA), which has allowed her to substitute teach, something she encourages all education majors to pursue. 


“NENTA taught me the essential aspects of teaching; not just content but how to go about teaching it. I learned about fun bell ringers, interesting introductions and procedures, and classroom management tips,” Heather says. Armed with the skills to manage her classroom, Heather strives to put the best material in front of children every day.


Wayne State is able to get education majors into the classroom early to observe teachers from all across the area. Being involved in WSEAN (Wayne State Student Education Association of Nebraska), intramurals, and event staff at athletic events gave Heather the school-life balance that every student needs. She encourages students to take 18 credit hours or less each semester so they can have fun along with being a student. Having time to be away with friends and getting involved provides an essential part of the college experience.


“Living on campus has allowed me to be involved in different organizations. As I move on to the next chapter of my life, I will remember the friendliness of staff and students as well as the memories I made with my friends,” Heather says. While most students that graduate just want to get their foot in the door, Wayne State College gave Heather a clear vision for her future. The hours she spends creating lesson plans and grading papers gives her an optimistic view of life after student teaching.


“I hope to get a full-time teaching job teaching in my own classroom. Helping students learn at the third to fifth grade level would be my preference,” Heather says.

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