Mollee Stenberg is where she wants to be.
The newly minted graduate of Montana State University- Bozeman grew up in a small town and wanted to start her teaching career in a small town.
Now, she is living in Baker and will be a brand new third grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary School.
“I graduated from college in December and when I was looking for a job, I was interested in living in a rural community again,” she explained. “I was looking for a smaller school and Baker kind of fit that.”
She grew up in Big Timber and found a place that has her near relatives in Miles City and across the border in North and South Dakota.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember,” she explained. “My mom was a teacher. I saw how much she could help kids. I really liked that and I wanted to follow along that path.”
Stenberg said she really liked the idea of teaching in the middle grades.
Stenberg said she has a passion for history that she hopes she can help instill in her students. “I really want them to be excited about learning when they leave the third grade,” she explained.
“I have a history minor so I am excited to be teaching social studies to the younger kids. I want to get them excited about social studies.”
She also knows that what she originally expected as a first-year teacher may be different in reality, especially with the impact the pandemic has already had on education earlier in the year.
“It is definitely not what I expected,” she said, noting how teaching in Montana has changed in just a few months. “But it is something that everyone is having to handle, work around and figure out – eventually – to make it work,” she said. “It will be just another challenge to add on.”
The teacher is also hoping to activate her class’ interest in local history and the community.
“This year, there is a lot of focus in third grade learning about their community. I am hoping that I will be able to create some kind of project for our students to learn more about their community or think about ways that they can help their community,” she said.
“There is definitely a lot of interesting stuff around here, history-wise,” she added.