Shaker Heights English teacher Emily Shrestha keeps teaching fresh.
Who: Emily Shrestha
Where: Works at Shaker Heights High School; lives in the Boulevard neighborhood
Business: English teacher
Personal Background: I double-majored in English and Integrated Language Arts (Education) at Hiram College, where I met my husband (Dipendra Shrestha, an investment accountant at Progressive Insurance).
Two days before I graduated, Shaker offered me a teaching job, so that was a phenomenal graduation present. The hiring director, Bill Trost, scooped me up in a mock interview session. If that had not happened, we might have moved back to Cincinnati to put roots down there.
In 2007 I earned my Master’s in Education at Notre Dame College. I feel that it is very important to keep doing something that adds to your professional growth. It’s nice that the school district provides so many options for this. I was part of a Master’s Teaching program at John Carroll University, which involved leadership. It’s so important to keep what I’m teaching fresh.
What I love about my work: I have taught at Shaker Heights High School for 11 years now, and in that time I have taught every grade (9-12) and every course level. I love that I get a new job every year, and that it’s different every day, even from class to class. I’m teaching Oedipus Rex to all five of my classes, and it’s amazing where they take the content and how different the discussions can be.
I could never sit at a desk with a phone. I love my stage, and that I can pull students up on that stage to show what they know. When graduates come back and visit it’s just the most rewarding, fulfilling, amazing thing to have them tell you that your class mattered. I also love my colleagues; I work with the smartest people and respect them so much. Being able to learn from one another is a true mark of professionalism and what I value most about my department.
On Working and Living in Shaker Heights: We moved here last summer from South Euclid. With my daughter Maya starting kindergarten, it felt like it would be easier to be on the same schedule and to have her in a district I trusted to start her academic schooling. (Maya attends Boulevard Elementary School. Younger sister, Priya, is two.)
Living here has given us more quality time together. I can get my kid to school in five minutes instead of 35, and I can walk to work. On the weekends, we like to spend time at the High School football games and see the marching band. We always did that before we had kids, and now it’s just that much easier to go to the things my students are inviting me to, like a dance concert.
We also love to spend time outdoors here – at the parks, the playgrounds, on the bike paths. When we hear the kids skating on the outdoor rink behind our house we think, “That’s why we moved here.” Maya just started ice skating lessons at Thornton Park so she can be out there with her friends.
Right after we moved in, we took the girls to Nepal for three weeks, where Dipendra is from, to visit family. I felt immediately comfortable having our new neighbor watch our cats even though we had just met. When we came back, the neighbors brought us all sorts of bread and cakes.
We also joined the Boulevard PTO international Partners, which helps to welcome international families when they move to Shaker. We didn’t know Boulevard had such a strong International presence when we moved here; it was just a happy coincidence!