Niemela learns block scheduling

Kimberly Neri, Features Assistant

Dr. April Niemela is an English teacher who joined the Bengal family this year. She has been teaching for 20 years and previously taught 7-12 English, speech, Spanish, creative writing, and a humanities survey course that included sign language, Chinese literature, art, and poetry. She has also taught graduate level courses for teachers through Michigan State University and the University of Idaho, as well as professional development sessions. For the last seven years, she’s worked exclusively teaching educators.

Her first teaching job was at Homedale while student-teaching in Kendrick, She moved to Highland Jr.-Sr. High School in Craigmont and then to Jenifer Junior High School in Lewiston because she wanted to return closer to family.
“Now I’m teaching at LHS! Go Bengals!” said Niemela.

Niemela said that LHS is the first school she has taught in that adhers to a block schedule. But so far, she likes being a teacher at LHS.
“It’s been an incredible experience ,” she said. “The students and staff are friendly, kind, and welcoming. The energy and joyfulness is contagious and the support, empathy, and camaraderie between students both in class and in the hallways creates an atmosphere of connectedness and community.”

Niemela said would be happy to move to the new high school campus in 2020.

“I’ll happily serve wherever the district sees fit to place me. Teaching at the new high school would be a privilege and a joy,” she said.
The students who are currently taking or planning on taking her classes should expect to learn a lot of things, she said.

“In addition to the requisite literacy strategies, I hope my students discover confidence in themselves as writers and readers and develop a love for language,” said Niemela. “For those students who are already confident in their skills, I hope they’ll find themselves both nurtured and challenged as creators and consumers of text.”