Meet the Teacher: Jodie VandenHeede, Dowagiac Middle School

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Jodie VandenHeede

School: Dowagiac Middle School

Grade/subject taught: Eighth-grade United States history

Where did you attend college? Wayne State University

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? Fifteen years total. Twelve years with Dowagiac.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I am interested in helping people improve their lives.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Camping, hiking and kayaking.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? Reading and bike riding.

How would your coworkers describe your teaching style and personality? Calm and laidback.

Who is your biggest role model and why? Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She is always moving forward with humility.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? Kids have access to information without help from a teacher.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue to grow academically? Give the child increasing responsibility and freedom.

If my studens learn one thing this year, I hope it is … They are able to live the life that they want to live if they are willing to work for it.