Meet your teacher: Michelle Baker

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Grade/subject/school: Third grade, Monon Trail Elementary School.

Number of years teaching: Eight.

Background/schooling:

Noblesville High School;

B.S. in business; Indiana University;

M.A. teaching, Marian University.

Why did you become a teacher? “I had always wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, and I found a fantastic program that allowed me to pursue this dream. I want my students to leave this classroom thinking, ‘I can do anything I want with my life.’ I want to provide a positive influence for students and to continue to be there for students at any point in their lives.”

What goals do you have for your students? “After graduating from high school, I want my students to have every opportunity to pursue a life goal. Staying strong in school will afford students that opportunity, and it will then be their choice what to do.”

What do you encourage parents to do at home to help their children strengthen particular skills? “Play outside, spend family time together playing board games, card games and participating in family activities. Have children help preparing meals. Eat meals together. Talk as a family. Read as a family.”

What’s something your students might not know about you?

“Growing up, my family would drive to Florida for an affordable vacation, because we could stay with family. We didn’t have the money to fly, and our biggest car was a hatchback. There weren’t enough seats for me to sit in the actual back seat, so my dad installed a seatbelt in the hatchback, and there I sat, sitting backwards, driving 24 hours to Florida, in a hot hatchback with no air conditioner. Oh, and the dog was with me, too.”