Above: Columbia math teacher Wendy Eastman works with a happy Jaden Bates on a math problem on her computer.
Mid-America Machining presents Wendy Eastman as Columbia School District Teacher of the Month
By Pam Campbell
Superintendent, Columbia School District
and John Hummer, Editor
“My daughter’s favorite teacher!”
“She cultivates an environment of academic success.”
These statements are in praise of Wendy Eastman, a fabulous Columbia Central Junior High School math teacher. This past year, she was nominated and voted “Teacher of the Year” by her fellow junior high school teachers.
Wendy is consistently working to advance her students to higher levels of academic achievement through careful planning and focus on increasing her students’ educational excellence. She works to motivate her students by encouraging them to exceed their expectations and their past mathematics performance. Her caring and nurturing spirit supports her students both academically and socially.
Wendy grew up in Redford, Mich. (Detroit area) and graduated from Redford Thurston High School. She earned her bachelor’s in teaching from Spring Arbor University and later obtained a master’s degree in math education from Walden University (based in Maryland) online.
Interestingly, Wendy worked as a paraprofessional for Columbia School District for seven years prior to becoming a teacher. She first worked at the old Miller Elementary and later at Brooklyn Elementary. Upon obtaining her teaching degree in 2008, Wendy began teaching eighth-grade math for the district and has been doing it ever since.
“I love my middle schoolers,” she says. And she loves teaching math. “I would never teach anything else.”
Wendy loves being a teacher because of the students who walk into her classroom each day. Each one of them inspires her daily with their hard work, perseverance, and joy for learning. Her students also encourage her with their curiosity, excitement for learning, and passion for accomplishing difficult tasks. Wendy says she is so blessed to have a job in which every day is diverse, and is so privileged to work in the satisfying, life-changing career of teaching.
“Myself, I enjoy learning,” she says. “I think anybody has the ability to learn. Finding those ways in which it makes it click in someone’s brain I find interesting.”
Wendy said her work as a paraprofessional gave her the chance to work with many different types of students individually and see how they think and learn.
“I think it’s awesome to figure out those ways to make it click for young children,” she says. “I’m the kind of person that likes to know how things work. I’m one of those that thinks deeper. To be able to think that way and show that to my kids – that there actually is enjoyment in learning. Anybody can do it.”
For several years Wendy coached the junior high school robotics teams and has served the district by teaching robotics during the summer to elementary students.
“I think it’s awesome to figure out those
ways to make it click for young children”
Columbia Junior High School teacher
“I like to know how things work and I like building things,” she says. “I thought that would be interesting for the kids. To see their eyes light up – to see their robot actually move – it’s a great feeling to see that.”
The students benefit from Wendy’s tenacity, educational enthusiasm, and positive ethical spirit. She is an extraordinarily dedicated teacher, blessed by her various teaching gifts.
“I love my job and love teaching math,” Wendy says. “It’s something I’ve always been passionate about. And my kids enjoy coming to class so I must be doing something okay.” There is no doubt she is.