Helena Magazine

Schools Q&A with Michelle Evans

Published 11:36 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Michelle Evans is the 7th grade special education teacher at Helena Middle School. We sat down with her and talked about her love of teaching and seeing that “aha” moment in her students’ eyes.

Question 1: How long have you worked in special education?

I have been teaching special education for 12 years.

Question 2: What made you realize this was what you wanted to do as a career?

I went to college to become an elementary teacher, but I ended up becoming a special education para for a middle school in Houston, Texas for some years. I eventually got a job teaching second and then third grade, but I missed my students at the middle school. I felt like they had taught me so much.  We needed each other. They made me love teaching. So, when I was contacted by the middle school about a position in special education, I applied and have been in special education ever since.

Question 3: What have you learned working with students with special needs?

I have learned every student does not learn the same.  I’m always reminded of one of my favorite quotes: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”-Albert Einstein. Sometimes, students with a history of behavioral issues just want someone to give them encouraging words and believe in them. My goal is to constantly instill in them that every day is another chance to start over and try again.

Question 4: What do you love about working in Helena schools?

What I love about working in Helena Middle School is that we have the best administrators, staff, faculty and most of all the students in Shelby County.  HMS is family. If I ever need something, HMS will be there for me.

Question 5: What is something you wish people knew or understood about what you do?

I wish people understood that teaching is hard work, and that I enjoy working with students and their success is also my success.  I would never cheat them out of learning. When I feel like I can no longer do my best as a teacher, I will gracefully bow out of this profession. I don’t plan on that happening anytime soon.

Question 6: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

There are honestly so many rewards with being an educator. I’d have to say my favorite is witnessing the “aha” moment in my students’ eyes when they understand a concept that was previously difficult for them.