Teacher Feature: Gauding-img

Emma Gauding teaches Social Studies at Colchester High School.

When did you realize you wanted to teach?

When I was applying to colleges, I was torn between teaching and physical therapy. I was accepted into UVM’s 3 + 3 Physical Therapy program (I would finish my undergrad in three years and then earn my doctorate in another three years), so I decided to pursue this avenue. However, during the second semester of my freshman year of college, I realized this was not the right path for me. I was doing a lot of substitute teaching at a local middle school and really enjoyed this experience, so I decided to switch my major to secondary education with a concentration in broad field social studies. I am VERY happy I made that decision.

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you do instead?

I love dogs, especially my rescue, Reggie, so I think I would run a dog rescue.

What’s your favorite aspect of teaching?

Forming lasting relationships with my students is my favorite aspect of teaching. There is nothing better than getting an email from a former student or having former students stop into my classroom for a visit.

If you could change something about the education system, what would it be?

A change I would like to see is already happening. Every year there is more emphasis on learning and less emphasis on grades. I hope this trend continues.

What is your favorite book?

As many of my students know, I love the Harry Potter series. My favorite is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I even bought the Marauder’s Map Vans when they came out last June.

What would your students be surprised to learn about you?

Almost every person in my family is somehow involved in education. My sister is a kindergarten teacher in southern Vermont. My mom, dad, and brother all work in the South Burlington School District. I have two cousins who teach elementary school. Both my paternal grandparents were also teachers.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure meal or dessert?

I love homemade macaroni and cheese, especially my mom’s.

What is a difficult aspect of teaching?

There are so many great “extras” to get involved in (Professional Development Committee, Wellness, Grade Level Advising, etc.) that it is sometimes hard to find a healthy balance.

What song do you know all of the lyrics to?

I probably know the lyrics to any song by Grace Potter/Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

What current trends among your students are baffling to you and why?

The social media video app, Tik Tok, really baffles me. I hear students referencing Tik Tok on a regular basis, but I am completely lost about what it is.

Describe a moment when you really connected with a student.

Being a class advisor and also having students as classroom aids has helped me form important connections with my students.

What makes you proud to work in the Colchester School District?

The Colchester School District is one of the most caring communities I have had the pleasure to be a part of and I am beyond lucky that I get to work for this district.

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