Mankato East teacher takes home the Golden Apple

Mankato East teacher takes home the Golden Apple

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Amber Waibel is in her 12th year of teaching.

Her first nine years were spent in Sleepy Eye, teaching at the public school.

Since then, she's been at Mankato East High School.

The move was a bit of an adjustment at first, but has helped Waibel grow immensely as an educator.

"Coming here has taught me a lot about how to reach a variety of different students and working with all different kinds of people."

Waibel showed up to college at Minnesota State University, Mankato not knowing what she wanted to do for a living.

With enthusiasm, good communication skills and an energy that drew people in, she knew that was a recipe for establishing connections with possible students.

“The number one thing that I try to do to build relationships is just trying to get to know the kids individually. I really enjoy going to their sporting events and choir concerts, so I kind of get to know them on their level and their interests. When they know I have a genuine concern and care and I really want to know about them, then they, in turn, want to know about me. It’s really a two-way street.”

Wednesday’s docket included continuing to read and act out excerpts from Romeo and Juliet.

Considering this is a piece of work from centuries ago, some kids may find it boring or not even relatable.

But Waibel finds a way to keep it interesting, whether that’s with acting the scenes out, modeling it out or relating it to current times.

“We might be reading Hamlet, but some of the things Hamlet goes through are still some of the same challenges that kids encounter today. I try to make it real-world as possible to show that the common human struggle is the common human struggle.”

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