Math “Blocker” Enjoys Her Teaching Time at NDA

Clare Ravizza , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

As many NDA students have noticed, and probably experienced, Sophomore Block Students from St. Norbert College are once again gracing our halls.

One student in particular is Miss Elsa Aparnieks, who is helping out and teaching in Mr. John Dunlap’s classroom.

Aparnieks is from New Berlin, Wisconsin, outside of Milwaukee. She attended Catholic Memorial High School, which she says is a lot like NDA.

She decided to attend St. Norbert for many reasons, but mainly because of the atmosphere of the campus, the distance away from her home, the excellent education program and the fact that her sister also attends SNC.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” said Aparnieks. She remembers being in elementary school and being asked what she wanted to be; she would always say a teacher.

Another reason she is pursuing a career in teaching, specifically in high school math, is because of a math teacher she had in high school who left a lasting impact on her. “She really helped me appreciate math,” said Aparnieks of her teacher, “especially since I wasn’t the best at math in high school.”
Besides the inspiration from her high school teacher, Aparnieks simply enjoys math. “Problem-solving is so fun to me,” she explained. “Every problem is like a little mystery that you get to solve. I want to help students experience that.”

Mr. Dunlap, Aparnieks’ cooperating teacher, noticed a passion for teaching immediately in her.

“I looked to see that she totally enjoys math, and it struck me that she really does,” said Dunlap.

In Dunlap’s classroom, Aparnieks has been correcting homework, making up worksheets, and teaching an Algebra I class in addition to figuring out if teaching is her true calling.

Dunlap believes that Aparnieks has a strong career ahead of her in education.

“She has what I call a ‘passion to help kids,’” explained Dunlap. “You have to have that feeling that whatever you do will be helpful.”

Aparnieks says she has enjoyed her time at NDA so far and hopes to continue to teach in the future. “It has definitely shown me I want to continue with the teaching profession, especially at this level.”