Over the next few months, The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet will be running profiles on each teacher in Mt. Juliet nominated for Wilson County’s Teacher of the Year. This week’s feature is Laurie Guethlein.
Laurie Guethlein is a second grade teacher at Gladeville Elementary School. She is currently in her eighth year at the school, having held an interim position her first year then teaching first grade for a year before staying with second grade.
Guethlein grew up in Old Hickory before moving to Mt. Juliet where she graduated from Mt. Juliet High School.
Guethlein has not always taught in the education system, but she has years of experience teaching dance to all ages at her dance school. However, when her children became old enough to start school, she decided to go back to school herself to obtain a teaching degree.
“I think people are wired [for teaching], and I’m just wired for it,” she said.
After getting her degree, she said she was determined to teach at Gladeville because that was where her children went to school. That has created a lasting connection for her, and she continues to enjoy teaching there even though her children no longer attend.
She received her degree in elementary education from Tennessee State University through Vol State, and enjoys teaching the younger grades, especially second grade. She said they are eager to learn and are starting to establish independence. She also said she enjoys seeing them evolve throughout the year.
Guethlein said she loves teaching math because she sees a lot of “light bulb moments” when the students start to understand.
“A lot of people say they’re not math people, so I like the challenge of taking those kids and finding a way to make it click,” she said.
Aside from her job at Gladeville, Guethlein also teaches a dance and fitness class for staff after school as well as a class on Saturdays in the community.
Guethlein said that though she appreciates the recognition in being named Gladeville’s Teacher of the Year, she is just doing what everyone else is doing.
She said she enjoys teaching at Gladeville because it is like one big family and everyone shares the same goals. They all love their students and want to see them be successful.
“Everybody is there to encourage and motivate and support each other,” she said.
Guethlein said she gets told all the time that Gladeville is a unique place to teach, and she agrees, saying it is a good community and she cannot imagine teaching anywhere else.