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Maria Theut Biography
I believe all children can be successful in the classroom. It is the teacher's responsibility to help the students to develop their strengths so the students can achieve their dreams. At the fifth grade level Reading and Math are essential stepping stones to the future. I believe the classics can really help the students develop a love of reading.
My husband Paul and I have five children, four sons and one daughter. They range in age from 11 to 20. We enjoy our busy family life. Our Catholic faith is very important to us. In my free time I like to run, hike, and read.
I enjoy teaching at OLPH because the small school is like a family environment. It is great to work around so many familiar faces.
Sister Miriam Belinda Ugoh
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Sister Miriam Belinda Ugoh Biography
Sister Miriam Belinda Ugoh (IHM) is from Nigeria in West Africa. She joined the Religious Order after High School. After her profession, she served two communities in her country Nigeria for approximately two years before she was reassigned to the United States in December of 1999. Here, in the States, she has served different places: Illinois, New Mexico, New York, and Wisconsin. While in New Mexico, she obtained her Associate Degree in Education from San Juan Community College, Farmington. After which, she proceeded to Silver Lake College, Wisconsin where she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and English. She has a great love for Mathematics and literature especially classical.
As a teacher, she believes that each student is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is her desire to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas.
As a Mathematics major, her passion for math is overwhelming and she wants her students to discover the aesthetic that is in everything. She strongly agree with Confucius saying, “Tell me and I'll forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.” She involves her students through hands-on and manipulatives, thus making students responsible for their learning through discovery. Her philosophy of teaching lead toward encouraging active participation of students in a process of self-discovery as they construct meaning from their present and prior knowledge. As Kahlil Gibran said, “A teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” She believed that by engaging students in Mathematics, she involves them in problem-solving that surrounds them every minute of the day. She leads her students to discover the beauty and knowledge that encompass our world.
However, as English major, she loves reading and it has helped her discover her true self and her share in the collective struggle that is part of our human society. Not only that, reading for her is an adventure. She passionately agrees with Chris McCandles who said, “The basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounter with each new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” It is this experience that she wants teenagers in their struggle for true identity to discover: the richness that surrounds them. Though, she is not teaching English, but she encourages her students to read and identify with a character that shares the same struggle as they are and still emerges from it successfully.
As a Religion teacher, she is dedicated to encourage and challenge students to make good moral decision. All these academic knowledge are in vain without God. Just like a tree, without the roots simply cannot survive; because the roots are very essential to the life of a tree. The roots anchor the tree in the soil, provide stability and a firm base for the entire structure of the trees trunk, branches, leaves, and foliage, especially when the tree’s life is threatened by heat and drought. Thus, she encourages her students to hold on to God and their faith because at the end that will be the only thing that matter.
Overall, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth for her. One of her hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in her students, as she shares her own passion for learning with them. She is committed to better herself through professional development classes and workshops that are available.