Theresa Yates, a former student, nominated Wendy Habeeb for Class Acts. Yates said she enjoyed Habeeb's class and teaching methods, adding that she made sure her students understood the material. Yates said Habeeb's care and involvement in the school's Key Club inspired her to be an officer for two years.
Name: Wendy Habeeb
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Occupation: Central Catholic High School mathematics teacher
Family: Husband, Ken Habeeb, daughters, Kimberly, 14, and Kelly, 10
Background: Born in Patterson, raised in Modesto, graduated Central Catholic 1985, attended the University of California at Davis and California State University, Stanislaus, teaching credential from the University of the Pacific.
Teaching experience: Taught at St. Bernard's in Tracy for two years, Patterson Junior High for six years and Central Catholic for 10 years.
Why did you get into teaching? I love working with kids.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? Watching your students when that light goes on and they get it. There is no better feeling in the world, especially when it is that quiet, shy student that never seems to fully grasp the concept.
What is the most challenging part of your job? Being able to perform on a daily basis. You must be able to put whatever is going on in your life aside, put a huge smile on your face and show your students that you genuinely care about them, so that you can enrich their minds and teach them about the world of mathematics.
Favorite teaching tool or activity in the classroom: My students! I love being able to pull my students in and use their experiences to add to the lesson.
Advice for new teachers: Remember that every student that walks through your door is a gift and that you need to make them all feel special.
Advice for students: Set your goals high and always continue to strive for them.
Advice for parents: Believe in your kids. Be their No. 1 fan.
Future plans: Continue to touch those that I teach and share my passion for math.
How do you to reach students not interested in school? By letting them know that for 54 minutes every day they are cared about and by not accepting failure. I stay on top of my kids and let them know they are not going to get off easy. If I respect them, they in turn learn to respect me and will work harder.
What would surprise people about your job? There is a lot of teaching that goes on outside of the classroom. As club moderator of the Key Club, I teach students to be responsible citizens and to care about their community. As a fan at games, I let them know that what is important to them is also important to me.
What did you do on your summer vacation? I helped schedule the 440 students at Central into their classes and spent quality time with my kids.
COMPILED BY JILLIAN HANKS, BEE NEWSROOM ASSISTANT
"Class Acts" is a weekly spotlight on outstanding teachers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills. If you would like to nominate someone, please send his or her name and contact information, along with your name, phone number and the reason for the nomination, to firstname.lastname@example.org.