About Michelle Strube-Hauser
Michelle started her teaching career in 1991 in Outlook, Saskatchewan teaching Business Education. Her career then took her to Manitoba and then eventually back to Saskatchewan. In 1998 she took a teaching job at Melfort Comprehensive and has been there ever since.
In 2004 she became Vice-Principal and now splits her time between administrative duties and the classroom. She has been involved with Student Council from the first day of her career and still loves it to this day.
**Please note that all of our transcriptions come from rev.com and are 80% accurate. We’re grateful for the robots that make this possible and realize that it’s not a perfect process.
Sam Demma (00:00):
This is your host and youth speaker Sam Demma. Today’s special guest is Michelle Strube-Hauser. Michelle started teaching in 1991 in outlook, Saskatchewan teaching business education. Her career then took her to Manitoba and then eventually back to Saskatchewan in 1998, she took a teaching job at Melfort comprehensive and has been there ever since in 2004, she became the vice principal and now splits her time between administrative duties and classroom activities. She has been involved with student council from the first day of her career and still loves it to this day. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Michelle and I will see you on the other side, Michelle. Welcome to the high-performing educator podcast. Huge pleasure to have you on the show here today. Why don’t you start by introducing yourself?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (01:30):
Hi Sam. I am Michelle Strube-Hauser. I am vice principal and student council advisor at Melfort comprehensive collegiate in Melfort, Saskatchewan. What else do you need to know? I have just started officially my 30th year in education. So that was…
Sam Demma (01:53):
I’m going to, I’m going to give you a round of applause real quick here. That’s so awesome. Congratulations. And what, what led you into education? I’m going to ask you to think back for a second to when you were younger and going through school yourself and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life. You know, how did you land upon teaching?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (02:17):
I landed on it. I started high school at Carleton comprehensive and prince Albert, and for anyone who knows that institution, that is a huge comprehensive school with lots of offerings and I want it to be a hairdresser and I took cosmetology 10 and went, oh, am I bad at this? And then I took a class called accounting and loved it and thought maybe I wanted to be an accountant. And then I realized, geez, accountants are in their office by themselves, a good part of the time. And I knew I wouldn’t like that. And so I was talking to my accounting teacher one day and I said, I think I want to do what do, and so kind of went into it blindly. I wasn’t one of those people that have them as a calling since they were 12 years old or anything like that, I went into it, blindly thinking, let’s try this and, and this just lucked out and it turned out very well. I’ve enjoyed my 30 years and it has gone so, so quickly that, that I must like it because it it’s blinked and it’s gone by. So I was lucky. I was.
Sam Demma (03:30):
That’s awesome. And did you have educators, teachers along the way that kinda mentored you or that kind of told you, you would make for a great teacher Michelle? Or did you just pursue it after those great experiences?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (03:42):
You know what? I pursued it after some great experiences, but, but at Carlton, yes, I had a couple of those businesses at teachers that really said, yes, you should do this. You would be great to have it. And, and really kind of helped me make my decision. I just needed that little push and they, they helped me make that, that decision. So I, I appreciate them immensely. And actually when I got to my internship, I got to work with a couple of them again and, and have stayed in touch with a couple of them along the way. So yeah, they meant a great deal.
Sam Demma (04:17):
That’s awesome. And what was your, what did you teach initially and did it ever evolve or was it always like lined up? Is it always, always the same kind of subject or how did your, your career kind of evolve?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (04:30):
Quite a few of the same sub subjects I taught my first year in outlook, Saskatchewan, and I taught every grade from grade seven to 12, nice keyboarding accounting history, a little bit of history back then. Then my career took me to Manitoba for a few years and, and same thing, everything in that business genre called different things and that type of thing. And then I found actually took two years off and did my masters in educational administration and, and kind of fully immersed myself into that experience. And so I did a little bit of teaching at the university during that time in the education department. And then that led me to Melfort and I’ve been here ever since. And for the first few years I did accounting the information processing, personal finance and now I’m, I’m basically part-time in the offices, vice principal and part-time classroom.
Sam Demma (05:32):
And out of all the rules, do you have experienced or worked in they’re all different and they all offer great things, but what trends have you personally like enjoyed the most and why?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (05:44):
Well, I hate to say this, but probably being student council advisor has been my favorite and that has nothing to do with my classroom, but, but it is my favorite part of the weekend of the date is working with the student council kids, which it, which here in Saskatchewan is extracurricular. So we spend a lot of new, a lot of new hours and a lot of after-schools together. And then the other ones, even out I do, I do enjoy being vice-principal. I do enjoy helping the teachers be the best teacher that they can be. But between the two, the best part of my day is still walking into the classroom and, and being with the kids. I, that’s still the best part.
Sam Demma (06:32):
Tell me more about the love for student council. So what is it about the student as student leadership and student council that really fires you up?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (06:42):
You know, what, just seeing the potential of the kids and what they can do and seeing how excited they are for certain activities just trying to help coach them along on their journey. We’re at the very early stages here of the year. We have our first event tomorrow. Our first big event is tomorrow it’s grade seven, welcome a B grade third grade twelves of planet. The grade 10 and 11 room reps are helping them with it. And it’s always a really fun way to start the year. And then after that, I make them sit down and tell me what their goals are for the year. And then I very much see my job as helping them meet those goals. So if they have an event they want to do, if they have an initiative, they want to do whatever it is, they join for a reason.
Michelle Strube-Hauser (07:34):
Let’s, let’s try to make that come to be th th the other thing is, is helping them learn that leadership is about helping others kind of servant leadership mentality and, and just watching them, watching them grow and watching them figure that out and seeing their successes and having them learn from a few mistakes. We’ll have some bumps. And how do you learn from that? Yep. And I’m sure, I’m sure Sam, you were part of a student council. So, you know, the student council kids are the most energetic, most fun group of kids you will ever be around and you feed off their energy gives you energy, you just feed off of it. So the more excited they get, the more wound up buying it. So it’s, it’s good.
Sam Demma (08:26):
That’s awesome. I love that. And student leadership has so many qualities that sometimes are more geared towards in-person school. And I know it’s been probably difficult over the past couple of years for student councils or for student leadership in general. What has your school been doing like for student leadership and how things changed?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (08:50):
Well, we’re really lucky this year. We’re face to face. We’ve got everybody here and our restrictions are, are ever changing in Saskatchewan. We had very few at the start of the school year, our right now we, we have a few more that we’re abiding by. So right now we’re able to do quite a debt last year. However, we had cohorts and we had no mixing and we had a lot of health and safety guidelines that we have to follow. And I won’t lie to you. It was tough, a lot of virtual competitions. We did a lot of things where, you know, each group, we, we brought them down a group at a time and timed them or stuff like that. We had to kind of be a little bit creative. The teachers were amazing because if the teachers got geared up and, and said, come on, let’s go. The kids kind of followed suit. So we, we had still had some good things going. We just needed a little bit more help in doing them. Yeah, there, I, I, it, it was tough, but we did the best we could. We’ll put it that way.
Sam Demma (10:06):
Yeah, I totally agree. Oh, sorry.
Michelle Strube-Hauser (10:09):
Go ahead. Yeah. And then, and this year we’re off to a much better start in that things have changed just enough that, that it kind of allows us, allows us a little bit of wiggle room. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can kind of keep going.
Sam Demma (10:23):
Yeah, I hope so too. I hope so, too. Speaking of, you know, continuing and keep continuing to improve and keep going there might be an educator listening right now who is hoping to improve and continue their own teaching and their own, you know their own craft of being a teacher. And maybe they’re in like their first year of teaching or second year or third year. And, you know, it’s probably been a little difficult for them. If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, maybe the first year you ever got into teaching, but with the advice and experience that you know, now, what advice would you give your younger self that would have been helpful for you to hear?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (11:03):
Oh, man, that is a good question. What would it sound like self my younger self, you know what, take one day at a time at the end of the day, sometimes you have to take a deep breath release your shoulders and let the day go and kind of step away. I think first year teachers and I was no better. I was at school 24 7. I was, I was always there planning and prepping. And every once in a while, you need to take a little bit of time for yourself and, and take a deep breath and do that thing that feels you and feels your energy, whether that’s a walk outside, whether that’s a sport that you play, whether that’s spending time with your family. But don’t forget that there’s that, that other side. And you, and every once in a while, it’s okay to let it go and, and, and step away from the student that challenges you or the situation that’s challenging you, or just work work in general, you need to find a little bit of a balance. And I think as first year teachers, we have a really tough time finding that balance.
Sam Demma (12:19):
Yeah, I couldn’t agree. I think getting into education right now would be a very interesting experience just because it’s, I guess I want to say it’s more difficult. Like, would you say that this year, the past two years were a little more difficult than past, or is it just different?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (12:38):
W you know, it, both, it, I, I would say it was more difficult but maybe it was more difficult because it was so different. When we all got sent home in March of 2020, the learning curve of online and how to reach out to the students. And for those of us who are kind of all call us old dogs, learning new tricks, just the technology that we have to use and how to get the kids hooked up to it. And all of that was just completely overwhelming. I think this past year, and even a little bit now what’s overwhelming is that we still have kids that have to go home for a week or two at a time. So you, now you’re doing both, right. You have a classroom of kids that you’re teaching face-to-face, but you’ve got three or four or five that are at home. And so you’re kind of trying to do a little bit of both. And, and that’s the part that gets difficult is you’re is you’re doing both jobs now. So different. And, and I would agree with you a little bit more difficult as well. Not only that, but this year has found a lot of kids coming back to school that have been online, and it’s a difficult transition. Yep. Then teaching yourself one-on-one, and now you’re back into a class with 25, and that in itself has been a difficult adjustment for some people
Sam Demma (14:11):
Not to mention the difficulty of teaching yourself to be social. When you haven’t seen people for two years, you know, like
Michelle Strube-Hauser (14:19):
Absolutely how to work in a group again, how just absolutely how to be social. And, and I think even we, as adults have had a hard time with that, because now over the summer, we’ve been, I’m going to use the word allowed, but we’ve started to become more social and you really do use you sort of forget what it’s like to be in a large crowd. And so if it’s, if it’s a learning curve for us adults, can you imagine what it’s like for, you know, a 12 or 13 year old? Yeah.
Sam Demma (14:52):
So true. So, so true. Well, Michelle, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to come on here and share a little bit about your own journey into education. Some of your advice for new educators and also how you guys are dealing with the challenges you’re faced with right now. If another educator is tuned in listening, what would be the best way for them to reach out in case they had a question or just wanting to connect with you?
Michelle Strube-Hauser (15:14):
Probably email me. It’s probably, I always answer my email. And if you are a student leadership advisor out there, we have a great Facebook page. It’s called Sasca leadership. It’s the Saskatchewan association of student leaders. And there is a few of us that are on there quite often, and we share ideas and we share what’s going well, and what’s not going well. So if you’re a student leader and you’re looking for a great point of access, you should follow that Facebook page.
Sam Demma (15:48):
Sasca leadership. Awesome, Michelle, again, thank you so much for coming on the show. We appreciate it and keep up the great work and we’ll talk soon.
Michelle Strube-Hauser (16:00):
Sam Demma (16:03):
And there you have it. Another amazing guest and amazing interview on the high performing educator podcast. As always, if you enjoy these episodes, please consider leaving a rating and review. So other educators like yourself can find this content and benefit from it. And here’s an exclusive opportunity that I mentioned at the start of the show. If you want to meet the guest on today’s episode, if you want to meet any of the guests that we have interviewed, consider going to www.highperformingeducator.com and signing up to join the exclusive network, you’ll have access to networking events throughout 2021 and other special opportunities. And I promise I will not feel your inbox. Talk to you soon. I’ll see you on the next episode.
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