Sue Rolf-Gorden is continuing her love of teaching at St. Cyprian's Episcopal School.
When Sue was asked to come teach the young learners at SCES last fall, she didn’t hesitate at the chance to come back into the classroom.
Sue retired from teaching in 2014 after 32 years at Lufkin ISD. She said she was sad at the time when she had to say goodbye to the profession. Now she is entering the halls at SCES once a week to teach kindergarten, first grade and second grade students about reading and writing.
“I love children with all of my heart, and it broke my heart when I retired to not be with children every day,” she said. “I’m a grandmother, but I don't get to see them every day. I just absolutely love kids and hearing their ideas, the funny things that they say. That’s what I most enjoy about it, it is the kids, and the school is just awesome.”
Sue begins with a book she reads to the students at the start of her weekly lessons. This week, in Pat Clos’ second grade class, the retired teacher brought two books, “Cloud Dance” and “Sky Tree” by Thomas Locker. The students were engaged and asked questions along the way as Sue read the books to them and talked about nature. After the books were read, the students lined up as they each held a piece of artwork by Locker. The students were then encouraged to write and draw artwork that was inspired by the art piece that they held.
Second grader, Bella Devera was inspired by a snapping turtle that was in the picture she held. Her classmate, Blayke Bonds was inspired by her picture that looked like a fall, breezy day. She said her favorite part of learning from Sue is the crafts they do.
“My favorite part is when she lets us do a craft,” Blayke said. “You never know what she’s going to do. That’s what I like about her.”
When preparing her lessons, Sue said she picks a piece of literature that will inspire the students' creativity.
“They respond to the literature,” she said. “They put their thoughts together and put it on the paper.”
Sue said she hopes to instill the love of reading and writing to the young learners.
“If they can write, they can read; and if they can read, they can write,” she said. “That connection and to think - to think on their own and come up with their own ideas and to put them on paper.”