Subbing Spotlight: Mrs. Raitter


Alex Dockery, Senior Columnist / Photographer

At The Sun, we like to spotlight teachers and staff from around the Horizon campus, but we thought it would be interesting to get a different perspective this time, so we decided to ask some questions of one of our substitute teachers.  Last quarter, while Mrs. Kingman was on maternity leave, Mrs. Raitter took on the role of long-term substitute for her English 12, English 12 Honors, and Contemporary Visual Media classes.  I wanted to take the opportunity to get her take on Horizon, teaching, and find out a little more about her background.

Was this your first time subbing?
This was the first time I have subbed in the classroom at Horizon, and, in fact, was the first time I have subbed in the classroom at all. Had I realized it was such a great profession, perhaps I would have started out as a teacher!

How was subbing for Mrs. Kingman? Did you enjoy teaching English?
Subbing for Mrs. Kingman was amazing. I enjoyed it more than I imagined. The students were great … and fun … and sometimes challenging, but that’s OK, too. I loved teaching English as well. I had the opportunity to study some new pieces of literature, and learned all about MLA.  I also absolutely loved having the opportunity to hopefully share some knowledge and experience with the students.

I heard you also have experience in teaching music, is that true?
When I first went to college, I was a math major for one semester; I was too immature to appreciate calculus, so turned to music. I love music, but have never formally taught.  However, I have been involved in music in many settings throughout life.  I have worked with groups of children of all ages, teaching them songs in various settings, have accompanied choruses at the collegiate level, and am currently the pianist for my church.

What are the qualities of a good teacher?
It seems to me that the most important quality is keeping the students’ best interests at the forefront, no matter what the situation. While this can present difficult dilemmas, good teachers stay the course, knowing that they are doing right by the students.

What is the most interesting thing you learned about high school students from teaching them?
Though this may not answer your question, I must admit that during that time I was frequently reminded of how great high school was for me, and also how difficult some things were.  I also found myself envisioning the students as adults, how much these students could and would accomplish, and pondering the excitement and joy that awaits them!

What did you think you would be doing in the future when you graduated from high school? What did you end up doing?
When I graduated from high school, all I really knew was that I was going to college. That was enough for me at the time. More than a few years later, I did indeed finish college. Along the way, I rediscovered that I loved math, and that I took to software design. I ended up in the Information Systems world.

What is the best job you’ve ever had?
The best job I have ever had was at Intel. For a few of my 18 years there, and as an individual contributor, I worked with groups within my department as a process facilitator. Some of the areas I helped with were problem-solving techniques, software requirements gathering, stakeholder analysis, decision-making models, meeting process definition, meeting facilitation, and working with contractors to bring in various leadership classes. There were many days I was having so much fun that I couldn’t believe that Intel was actually paying me to do my job.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time?
My absolute favorite thing to do is play piano. Sometimes I play when I should actually be doing something else (shhh … don’t tell). The piano has been a love of mine all of my life and is simply a part of who I am.

The other passion in my life is watching tennis! I am a huge tennis fan. I used to ‘play at’ tennis, but never competed; now I am absolutely glued to the television whenever a big tournament is underway. In fact, the first weekend of Spring Break, I went to Indian Wells, California, for the finals weekend of the tournament there. Though Roger Federer (my absolute favorite) wasn’t playing, it was still fabulous!

Any advice for Horizon students?
I suppose my advice to Horizon students would be that each of you should enjoy and appreciate what you have here; that is, dedicated teachers and a dedicated staff who genuinely care about you, and whose goal it is to send you into the world with the best education and the best educational experiences they can provide.

Though new to the role of substitute teacher, Mrs. Raitter was not a stranger to the Horizon campus.  As a grandmother of two Horizon students, she has been to numerous chorus and band concerts and drama productions; she has also volunteered for the elementary school’s Reading Buddies program, and was the accompanist for several chorus concerts.