Still going strong
“I had never been to a homecoming parade like CR-B does,” said Barb Middendorf, a special education teacher. “It’s quite a hometown. I grew up in a small town and went to a small rural school. I like being here.”
Mrs. Middendorf is in her eighth year at CR-B Schools. Before becoming a Crusader, she taught for 38 years in the Carroll Public Schools, where she mostly taught kindergarten, second grade, and optional kindergarten. She has always been a special education teacher at CR-B and is currently teaching fifth and eighth grades, but she has been with third, fourth, and sixth graders, as well. She even worked through her maternity leave as a substitute teacher. Upon finishing her maternity leave, CR-B Curriculum Director Marjorie Schwenk asked if she would like to come back full time. The answer of “yes” was a simple one for Middendorf because she still had the need for “purpose.” In total, Middendorf has served students for a little over four decades.
“I have learned some research based programs that help struggling readers,” Middendorf said. “These have been very effective when it comes to helping students close the gap in relationship to their peers. Reading is very developmental and for some students it must be very sequential. Many times students need more practice to achieve skills to become readers.”
Five fifth graders shared their favorite moments with Mrs. Middendorf.
“I worked with Mrs. Middendorf last year,” Logan McCool said. “We got to do fun things like write stories and hang them up on the window.”
“I’ve been working with Mrs. Middendorf since third grade,” Lilly Conner said. “She really helps us a lot.”
“I have worked with Mrs. Middendorf for a couple years,” Gabe Wiles said. “Reading with her and my friends is always so much fun.”
“I’ve been with Mrs. Middendorf since third grade,” Lilly Rouse said. “It’s fun when we do math together.”
"I've been working with Mrs. Middendorf for a year," Brooklyn Long said. "I really like when she helps me write."
Mrs. Middendorf encourages teachers to make rules and stick with them. She also hopes to see more trades become available to students. Ultimately, to be the most effective, Middendorf wants teachers to develop strong relationships with their students and colleagues.
After 46 years in the occupation, Middendorf isn’t ready to “hang it up” just yet. She’s planning to keep it simple in the years to come.
“I will continue to work towards the common good of the organization,” she said. “Also, be kind to the trees. They're busy saving the world. And, find humor in the unexpected.”