Like the role models of her high school days, Shannon Linkerhof doesn't just do what it takes to get by.
She works to "go above and beyond" and "do the extra stuff."
Teaching two different classes to two very different age groups in separate buildings might make finding time for that extra input challenging, but being able to make a difference in young lives makes the extra work well worth it.
While she's at it, the children are making their impacts on her.
From a first-grader's grand tale of a weekend visit to the joy of leading a young person to succeed in something they've never done before, Linkerhof keeps growing with her students.
She describes teaching as "a reality check" that makes her aware of "how much we adults take for granted."
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I teach physical education at South Street Early Learning Center and seventh grade health at Beaty-Warren Middle School. This is my second year teaching. I graduated from Eisenhower High School in 2003, Go Knights! I graduated from Edinboro University with my Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education in December 2006. I have a loving husband Jeff, two awesome step-sons, Caleb and Jacob, and my adorable one-year-old son, Greyson.
Q: Why did you become a teacher?
A: I decided to become a teacher my senior year of high school. I had a really awesome role model who is a PE teacher in New York - thanks Anne - and an awesome high school PE teacher, the wonderful Mrs. Rouse.
I felt like teaching was something I really wanted to do. I always liked sports and thought health and PE would fit me perfectly.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
A: The most rewarding part of my life is working with students of all ages. I feel like I am making a difference in the world. Not a huge one, but it doesn't have to be.
Q: What frustrates you most about teaching?
A: The most frustrating thing is when a student tells you they can't or don't know how to do something, when really they just haven't tried. Then, once they try it, and with a little guidance from me, they really are very good at whatever they think they can't do.
Q: What advice could you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher?
A: Make sure teaching is something you really want to spend the rest of your life doing. Plan to go above and beyond what is expected of you. Do the extra stuff.
It will be hard, but it will be appreciated. To me, teaching is the best job in the world.
Q: What career would you be in if you were not a teacher?
A: I never really thought about doing any other job. Right now the only other thing I would want to do is be a stay-at-home mommy so I could enjoy every second of my son's life.
Q: If you could recommend one thing to parents to help their children in school, what would it be?
A: Keep track of your child, be totally into their life. Show them a positive future and don't be afraid to say 'no.'
Show them how much you care. Before we know it our kids will be gone and we don't want to regret missing anything.
Q: What's your favorite funny or heart-warming classroom story?
A: The younger kids are the most funny to me. They always have a really important story to tell and it really puts you in a reality check.
To a first-grader, the best thing in life is going to Grandma's for the weekend. It makes me stop and enjoy those little moments in my own life.
Q: Is there anything I should have asked you about but didn't?
A: The only thing I would like to add is a huge thank you to all of those who feel I deserved this opportunity.