Starfish Stories No. 12/Carrie MuessigPublished 6:24pm Monday, April 29, 2013
In my office is a poster that reads: “Priorities: A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
When talking about the starfish throwers in Dowagiac, many middle school teachers come to mind, but Carrie Muessig stands out as a starfish thrower, not only in my eyes, but also in the eyes of every child with whom she works.
Carrie Muessig has been with Dowagiac Union Schools for 19 years.
She has worked with students as an elementary teacher, an elementary Title I teacher and, most recently, a middle school Title I teacher.
Although hundreds of children have sat in her classroom, each one has a story to tell of the impact Carrie had on their lives.
Each child leaves her classroom knowing she cares about them, and that she hopes only the best for them.
I interviewed a few of Carrie’s current students to share their stories.
Jackie said, “Mrs. Muessig can explain [the work], she helps us solve it, but makes us do it. She makes us read, too, so we can be better readers. I’m definitely a better student because I had Mrs. Muessig as a teacher.”
Harvey told me that “she’s a really good teacher because she works with us all of the time. She made me realize that if I pay attention in school I can get a better education. I’ve really turned it around this year because of Mrs. Muessig.”
Ashley shared that “[Mrs. Muessig] holds us very accountable for our work. We do a lot of stuff that involves a lot of reading and writing. She is always up and about and working with us, and I have learned a lot from her.”
Kayla thinks “she is nice and funny. She’s really smart, too. I know what I have to do in her class because she is strict when she needs to be. She makes me sound professional because she makes me use big words. She’s really cool!”
From these comments you can see the impact Carrie is having on our students. She certainly has her priorities in order, and when we ask the proverbial starfish question, “How can you make any difference?” Carrie answers: “I made a difference for that one … and that one … and that one.”
— MATT SEVERIN