Mrs. Gahgan - 2nd Grade
What made you want to become a teacher?
I was working as a part-time firefighter-paramedic, and when my last daughter was born I decided that I needed to leave the fire service. I couldn’t keep up with the training anymore, and it was a very physically demanding job where people's lives depended on you, it was a lot. I loved being a paramedic and still miss it, but being a firefighter wasn't something I loved as much.
My husband and I decided to both go back to school and get our degrees. Because I wanted to know more about God, and with the help of one of my professors at Concordia Chicago, I decided that education was the way to go for me.
I’ve always loved school and learning so from that perspective, it has translated well into being in the classroom. I especially love teaching second graders because they are so eager and love learning.
Was there someone that inspired you to become a teacher?
Definitely my pastor. He took the time to sit down and help me realize that God’s leading doesn’t always follow what we think. But His plan is better. I needed that reminder at that point in my life because there were so many questions I had.
Is there a subject that you especially love to teach?
I love teaching science because there is such a clear connection to God’s creation.
What did you miss the most about teaching in person during the stay-at-home order?
The kids! Their smiles, their laughs, and the way they are so breathless to tell you everything that happened the day before or over the weekend. They always have so much to tell me. I missed seeing that joy everyday. They want to be at school as much as we do. They think of St. John’s as their place.
What is the best piece of advice you have received about teaching?
Learn to go with the flow. We make lesson plans but it’s not the end of the world if we don’t cover everything that day. Sometimes we need to capture teachable moments when they happen.
What are you most looking forward to about the start of the school year?
Seeing the kids! That first day is going to be so exciting. I’m excited to hear their stories from the time of sheltering in place and from the summer.
What do you love about St. John’s?
I love the atmosphere at St. John’s. The families are so supportive. They are willing to do what they can to make our lives easier and to help us out with the things we need. They do so many things to make the teachers feel special and loved.