New Lambert teacher enjoying her small class

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New teacher Tarah Brauer brings fresh enthusiasm to Lambert’s first-grade classroom.

A native of Missoula, Brauer is a first-year teacher who came to Lambert in August after earning her degree from the University of Montana last spring.

“She has lots of new ideas and creative thoughts,” Lambert Principal Kara Triplett said. “I think it’s been a great thing for our staff.”

Brauer’s inexperience did not deter Lambert’s administration from offering her the job, said Triplett, who received a favorable report from superintendent Bill Colter after Brauer’s interview.

“He said she had a really contagious energy,” Triplett said. “It was very obvious she cared about the kids and cared about the profession.”

Kindergarten teacher Sheri Moore echoed Triplett’s comments about Brauer. “I think a lot of her ideas are really fresh and new,” she said.

Moore said Brauer has a particularly good handle on organization, as she sends her students home with folders containing activities for them to work on when they’re not in school.

Teaching is in Brauer’s blood. Her mother is a teacher, as were two of her grandparents, but it took her awhile to realize she wanted to teach too. When she entered college, Brauer thought she was going to be a journalist.

“I wanted to be the next Katie Couric,” she said. “It just didn’t work out for me. I took some of the classes, and I just didn’t love it.”

After switching majors a couple times, Brauer finally settled on teaching, a decision she could not be happier with. “It’s a really rewarding job,” she said. “I’m really happy I ended up teaching.”

Adjusting to Lambert has not been too tough on Brauer, who said she enjoys the slower pace the small town provides. As a student teacher in Missoula, Brauer had 25 children in her classroom. In Lambert, she only has four.

“I love our little class,” she said.

“They’re so funny and fun to be around. That’s probably the best part of my job. Just being around them.”

Brauer said her students seem to enjoy most of their classroom activities, especially playing word games. “They get really into it,” she laughs. “Super competitive.”

All in all, she says she is enjoying her time in Lambert. “It’s been a really great experience,” she said. “I can’t imagine going anywhere else now. I just love it. It’s a great place to work.”

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