This month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mrs. Lake, a seasoned middle school English teacher. We had such a good conversation ranging from how to raise twins to chatting about our shared love for C. S. Lewis!
Brooke: How many daughters do you have?
Mrs. Lake: I have twin girls who are thirteen. Then I have a seven-year-old who is in second grade.
Brooke: Have you found it hard to raise twins?
Mrs. Lake: At times. At first it was a lot like survival mode when you have two little ones. I remember spending most of my time in this big old chair that we bought from the Salvation Army. I remember that my husband took a picture of me laying there with both of them sleeping. But no, it’s wonderful. As soon as they were able to sit up and play with each other it was great, and they are going through the same things at the same time. It’s been a really cool experience raising twins. I love it!
Brooke: What is your most memorable childhood moment?
Mrs. Lake: I remember going to my grandparents’ house and riding Big Wheels with my cousins, racing from their house to my grandma and grandpa’s house because they lived really close. I also remember watching the Golden Girls and eating popcorn with my grandma; really the simplicity of life and hanging out with family. Now we live so far apart we don’t really get that anymore. So looking back those memories of spending time with one another are really special!
Brooke: Where did you grow up?
Mrs. Lake: I grew up mainly in Wisconsin and Illinois on the border there. Beloit, Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois are my two main stomping grounds where I grew up. I always say I was born in the wrong part of the country.
Brooke: Why did you choose to be a teacher?
Mrs. Lake: I have always loved writing. Ever since I was young, I remember the experience of the first time I wrote my name; the house I was in and the desk I was sitting at. I’ve also always loved teaching. When I was little I would get all my stuffed animals lined up and pretend that I was teaching. It’s always felt like a natural fit to me. When I took tests, if a question said something like “write a paragraph,” I would write an essay. I’ve just always really enjoyed writing and teaching. It’s been what I’ve always wanted to do.
Brooke: Is there a certain age group that you enjoy teaching the most?
Mrs. Lake: I would probably say middle school. I think middle school kids are fun and strange and that’s who I am. I like to be silly and goofy and encouraging. We just mesh well together. Middle school age is my sweet spot! You learn a lot about your students through reading their writing, and develop a relationship through it.
Brooke: What is your favorite thing to write?
Mrs. Lake Probably free verse poetry. Any moment in life that is great or a struggle. I can just write it out. It doesn’t take long and it’s therapeutic in some ways.
Brooke: Who is your favorite author?
Mrs. Lake: I really like C.S. Lewis for the way that he just paints a picture and the influence he has on both kids and adults. Just for fun, I read James Patterson novels. They are very different but I guess that suits me because I have a very eclectic taste. I like a little bit of everything!
Brooke: What’s your favorite book?
Mrs. Lake: I do love The Chronicles of Narnia. That’s a classic. I know that’s probably a cheesy answer, but I just adore those books.
Brooke: What is your favorite Bible verse?
Mrs. Lake: Isaiah 40:31 “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles and they shall run and not be weary and they shall run and not be faint.” I just love the hope of that. I think so much of life is how you respond to failure and how to discipline your disappointments. That’s life. There are so many challenges in it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s so many great moments too, but you can look back and count those. The reality is that everyday isn’t Disney World. I just think the hope in the verse and the idea of disciplining your disappointments is huge in life.
I had so much fun having this conversation with Mrs. Lake! I had a great time getting to find more about the life of one of my former English teachers. I wish her the best in the upcoming school year (while trying to keep all those middle schoolers under control). I hope that she has the opportunity to impact the lives of her students for many years to come!