Making the Grade: Heidi Sodetz |

Making the Grade: Heidi Sodetz

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Heidi Sodetz

Heidi Sodetz teaches third grade at Frisco Elementary School. She was born and raised in western Michigan, where she remained until four years ago, when she packed up and left the Midwest for Colorado’s High Country.Inspiration: My mother was a teacher, and I was sixth out of seven siblings. She taught when we were young but stopped after she had several of us. We played school, and she knew the rules and taught us how to play.Motivation: Children and their smiling faces make me want to come to work every day. I love the age of elementary kids. They’re little sponges, learning everything they can in such a short amount of time. Just to see the students light up and say, “Oh, I get it,” makes the job worth it.

I’m happy most of the time, and I think I’m a pretty good role model. It’s important for kids to have a teacher who can be serious but can be a clown also. Philosophy: Everybody has the ability to learn, and everybody has the right to a formal education. At school, we meet the needs of each individual child and his or her learning styles to make them successful.Modern challenges: The toughest thing about being a teacher is getting enough sleep. You need to be a mother, you need to be a nurse, you need to be a psychiatrist. To wear all the hats and do it well is time-consuming.

For me, to make life satisfying, I need to spend time with my family – my two dogs and my husband. When I make time for that, it makes work more fun and less stressful. I need to have that balance with my job.Accomplishments: My greatest accomplishment was moving out to Summit County at age 35. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done and the smartest choice we’ve ever made. The schools are great, the kids are great and the environment is fantastic.Role models: My mother and my sister. I just admire both of them for their strength, their courage and the choices they have made in life.

If I had $100,000: I would upgrade the facilities we have for kids to be physically active. I’d build a gym where they can have PE every day. It’s so important for kids to be active in organized activities.Extracurricular: My No. 1 favorite activity is trailrunning with my dogs.My students would be surprised to know: A fourth-grade teacher challenged me to eat a tall stack of pancakes one day at the Log Cabin after I had already eaten an omelet and hash browns. I was sick afterwards, but I did it.

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