Classroom reunion at UW-Superior
UW-Superior student reunited with former middle school teacher
The University of Wisconsin-Superior prides itself in its small class sizes that create an environment where students and instructors truly get to know each other. A 16-to-1 student-teacher ratio gives faculty members time to engage, challenge and mentor students.
For Laura Montgomery, a junior from Superior majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish, there was never a doubt she’d receive excellent attention from her instructor Ms. Lynn Rochon. Montgomery had already been in Rochon’s classroom before as a sixth-grader at the Superior Middle School.
“I actually had no idea that Lynn was going to be my college professor until the first day of the semester,” said Montgomery. “I walked in and was very pleasantly surprised to see her in the front of the classroom. I sort of laughed as it was different to see her in that environment and said, ‘Hello’. I don't think she recognized me at first as it was so long ago, but then, she knew exactly who I was.”
Luckily for Montgomery, her days with Rochon had been a positive experience.
“As a sixth-grader, I thought Lynn Marie Rochon was very fun and enthusiastic, which kept students engaged while learning,” said Montgomery. “You could tell she was passionate about being a teacher. Being in her class was cool because we were free to ‘be kids’ and had fun while learning.”
The reunion was also a welcoming event for Rochon, who joined UW-Superior this August after more than 30 years of service in education with 27 years in the Superior School District.
“It's pretty normal to feel a little nervous at the start of any school year, but in beginning to teach at a whole new level, my nervousness was more than just ‘a little,’” said Rochon. “When I looked at my class list and saw Laura's name on it, I couldn't help but smile. It made me feel calmer, knowing that there would be at least one friendly face.”
Oddly enough, picking out that friendly face was a bit of a challenge.
“The funny thing was, I could only picture Laura's face as a sixth-grader,” said Rochon. “I hardly recognized her when she came into the classroom. Still, seeing her smile helped me feel so much more at home.”
Throughout the fall semester, the two were able to connect through the class, which has given Rochon a unique perspective on her former middle school student.
“I don't think that Laura wanted to be a teacher in sixth grade, but watching her demonstrate all the skills she has learned since sixth grade, including teaching the class a lesson she prepared while I got to observe from a student's seat, is surely an interesting turn of events,” said Rochon. “It gives me joy to know that I have another opportunity to be involved in the life of one my students and hopefully offer something in return that she can use to help reach her goals.”