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Linda Zohner understands that being an educator is a huge responsibility.

“Being a substitute teacher provides me an opportunity to take a look at this generation of students, within the context of their schools,” she said. “It is both humbling and challenging to interact with the next generation of adults in our country.”

Before becoming a substitute teacher with MHED, Linda earned her degree in Bacteriology from the University of California, Berkeley, lived in Gif-sue-Yvette, France, earned her master’s degree in Secondary Education from Fort Hays State, and was a Library Media Specialist for grades 1-12.

“After I retired, I recently became qualified to substitute teach because I wanted to see for myself how well our schools are meeting the challenge we as a society have set for them.”

Though she has experience with all grade levels, her favorite to teach are high school students.

“At that age, they are changing so rapidly, reacting to societal pressures to achieve, having to decide if they choose to live by their family and societal values — or to change them,” she said. “I like to ask questions, to be understanding of their feelings, and, above all, to be respectful. I feel the responsibility keenly of supporting these students. Additionally, I also help kids by insisting that all of us maintain acceptable behavior boundaries. Respect goes both ways.  If these students do not understand that ethic, now is a good time to learn.”

She understands that students want to be heard and respected and knows that they are experts at deciphering language that engenders respect.

“In sizing up a substitute teacher (me or anyone else), students will check out the issue of respect–first and last.”

In her free time, she enjoys taking care of her many animals — her horse, an Egyptian Arabian filly, her six outdoor cats, and two border collie puppies — and spending time with her large family.

“Four of my five children are graduates of KU, as is my oldest grandson. Of course, my kids and grandkids are the best — gorgeous and smart! I am so proud of my family.”

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