Moving from Ms. Shelley Christian’s classroom where Ms. Mariah DeLong was a student teacher last year, DeLong sits behind her own desk in her own classroom where she teaches Spanish 1 at the high school.

Last year’s student teacher for Ms. Shelley Christian, Ms. Mariah DeLong, starts this year in a classroom of her very own, teaching Spanish 1.

DeLong may be a familiar face to some of the students at Pattonville. She student taught last year in Christian’s classroom where she became familiar with many of the things around school including the bell schedule and Pirate Code. She was also able to learn hands-on with another teacher.

“I learned a lot from Mrs. Christian,” DeLong said. “I do some things she did, but I also like to add some things of my own.”

She attended Notre Dame High School and went on to study at UMSL, where she graduated last May. It was at Notre Dame though, where she realized Spanish was something of her interest.

She took that love of Spanish and became a teacher. When teaching her students, DeLong knows it can be hard at times starting kids with a brand new language.

“I told them on the first day we are going to learn our ABCs, we are starting from Kindergarten and it could be frustrating at times,” but she also let them know that she is here to help them.

With the students possibly being stressed out from starting from scratch, “I want them to be in a place where they feel like they can learn,” DeLong said, who was interviewed in her welcoming, gold-accented classroom.

She is putting her students first in all aspects this year. She wants and knows they all can succeed.

“I just love the kids. I love the students.”

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