Student Teacher Joins Staff

Emma Engebretson becomes teacher


Liam Woodward

Used with permission from Emma Engebretson.

Liam Woodward

What role did you have last year?

I did my student teaching here with Ms. Cisco, who is a Civics teacher. It was great, I had the best experience possible with distance learning that I could have asked for. Ms. Cisco is a really great teacher and a good person to learn under. The students were really wonderful.”

How was your time as a student teacher?

There were definitely a lot of bumps as far as the pandemic. Overall, I think Ms. Cisco and I and all of the students had a pretty good class. It’s consistent, so you knew what to expect which definitely helped with all the inconsistencies of the pandemic and distance learning in person learning hybrid.

How was distance on your part?

I thought that it was a lot of Zoom time, (and) a lot of electronic time. It definitely had pros and cons to it, like building relationships. You had to be creative with how to get to know students that you’ve never met in person. It also gave room for being more creative, like how can I reimagine this lesson or this discussion or whatever it is within teaching in a way it was for some students, I felt like I could get to know them more outside of school I could meet their dogs or their parents or their families right over Zoom.

How is it being a teacher this year?

It’s really hard, I do really love it. I love working with ninth graders. It is definitely a hard job and being new during this first year back to school in-person comes with a lot of unknown territory for all of us, including the ninth graders. We’re trying to navigate this newness together, which has been hard. But again, I love them — they’re a great, fun group.

Was there anyone who helped you a lot through it?

Kara Cisco helped a lot for student teaching. I love my department heads, Jill Merkle and Breana Jaques — they’re super supportive. We don’t have any official mentorship program at St. Louis Park for new teachers. So as department heads and just as really kind wonderful humans, they’ve really taken on that lead of making sure that I feel supported by them and within this department. Lindsey Meyer is on my block team, and she’s amazing and very helpful, too. The racial equity coaches are really doing great work and people that I trust with going to for advice or what have you.

What do you think your future at Park looks like?

I would definitely love to keep teaching here. I love the kids and it’d be really great to see them growing, see them become seniors and everything. I definitely want to keep teaching social studies. I’m pretty open to (different) grades and classes. I would love to try new things and also try new courses. Thinking about the possibilities of what I could teach beyond Civics would be really cool. I love Civics, but I’ve got hopefully at least 40 more years of teaching. So trying new subjects would be cool.