Class Acts: A Q&A With Megan Ludwig

Sharyn Bragg nominated nominated Megan Ludwig for Class Acts. Bragg, a student in the adult school computer course, said Ludwig has a great gift for teaching and shares it with her young students and the "young at heart" students. She called Ludwig an exuberant teacher who is active with the school.

Name: Megan Ludwig

Age: 31

Hometown: Modesto

Occupation: History, English and technology teacher at Pitman High School

Family: Husband, Tim Ludwig; and stepson, Cameron

Background: Bachelor's degree in social science and teaching degree from California State University, Chico

Teaching experience: I completed my student teaching in Oroville and have been teaching at Pitman High School in Turlock since it opened in 2002. I also teach an evening course for Turlock Adult School.

Why did you get into teaching? I had a history teacher when I was in high school who inspired me. You could tell he enjoyed teaching and working with students. I knew as soon as I started my classes at Modesto Junior College that I wanted to major in history and share my love of history through teaching.

What is your favorite part of being a teacher? Definitely the students. If working with students is not a teacher's favorite thing about teaching, they are in the wrong profession. I enjoy getting to know them, interacting with them and watching them learn and grow as individuals.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Making sure I reach every student. I work with over 150 students a day and it is my job to make sure every single one of those students is successful.

Favorite teaching tool or activity in the classroom: There are many tools I use in my classroom, but the best teaching tool is the students themselves. Students need to be able to relate what we are teaching them in the classroom with themselves. If they can connect with a topic or see their improvement in a class, they will be motivated to continue and use all of the other tools offered in the classroom.

What's next in your classroom? We are preparing for midterm exams, which means wrapping up our last few topics and beginning our review process.

Advice for new teachers: Do not get frustrated or disheartened, no matter what. Do not worry about the bad days, because every teacher has them. Use the bad days to reflect and plan a good one. Be willing to listen to others and try new ideas in your classroom.

Advice for students: Take advantage of what is being offered to you. You have an entire school filled with staff, programs and classes that are there specifically for you. Never be afraid to admit you need help.

Advice for parents: Make sure you are an active participant in your child's education. Communicate with your student and his or her teachers.

How do you to reach students not interested in school? Take an interest in them. Take the time to find out who they are, what they have going on in their lives, and what interests them. Then you can take that information and use it to find a motivation for them.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Another teacher and I took a group of students to Italy and Greece for 18 days. It was an amazing adventure, and every student who was with us has a new perspective on life.

I also got a chance to spend much needed time with family and friends.