Linda Schueler, Triton Early Childhood Special Education teacher, sits between Taydem Schaffer and Tyler Roe a few days before her retirement. Photo by Ruth Hanson
By Ruth Hanson
"Little kids are so spontaneous," Linda Schueler said, smiling. "People say that kids say the darndest things and that is true. 'What you see is what you get' is another way to say the same thing."
She has taught in Triton since 1996 and will be retiring at the end of this year.
She added that the children in her Early Childhood Special Education class get so excited when they learn something, like how to write their names. Or they practice cutting with a scissors and then take home the scraps they have made in a little bag.
"I feel the satisfaction of helping children learn," she said. "And when I watch the teachers in tragedies like the one in Connecticut, I pray, 'Dear Lord, don't let these children die today.' It makes me so proud to see those teachers literally risk their lives for those children. They really care about kids."
She said she is going to miss the kids and so she may do some volunteering in this room and may sub in her early childhood room.
She began her teaching in the Chicago area, teaching language arts in sixth and seventh grade. Her husband, Joe, worked for the Chicago Tribune. They moved to Kandiyohi, which means "Big Water," and lived on a farm near Wilmar. He worked for the West Central Tribune. Then they came to Hayfield and Joe worked for the Rochester Post Bulletin. He retired two years ago.
They have been accepted as vendors in a Rochester Farmers' Market. They will be selling the pickles that they have made in a crock as well as pickles on a stick. She also makes pies and nut bread to sell.
"It's so much fun!" she said. "I like the festive atmosphere. We let people try samples. We have our own spot starting this year."
Their son Eric was in the navy and he and his wife have settled in Virginia. They are expecting their first child, and Linda and Joe's first grandchild.
"It has filled a void for us - with Eric so far away - that Anna and Victoria (who were exchange students at our house) live nearby; one in Rochester and one in Lakeville. They speak Russian and Joe learned Russian in the military."
Anna has a two-year-old boy and a year-old girl. Victoria has a little boy who is two.
Schueler serves on a diversity committee that is active in bringing cultures and people to this part of the state.
"It is a real blessing for me and for our school," she said. "One time recently a visitor taught our kids Maypole dancing and the Virginia reel, our own cultural heritage."
Life in retirement will not be dull for this woman who taught Early Childhood Special Education at Triton for 17 years.