ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – During the month of August, News 6 is recognizing our hardworking, Central Florida teachers and asking them to tell us their “why” — as in, why they teach.
News 6 met with veteran teacher Judy Lindquist at Andover Elementary School in Orange County where she is the gifted teacher.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
“I can’t imagine doing anything else. Even after 28+ years, I absolutely love what I do. I love spending my days with kids in the classroom,” she said. “I think another driving force is that I have an unshakeable belief in the public school system in our country. I think education is the great equalizer and it gives every kid a chance, and it’s so important that every child, no matter where they live or what their home situation is, that they have the same opportunity for a great education. We have an uncanny focus on every single student and what they need from the very, very lowest to the very highest. We have programs that address kids with learning disabilities and struggles, and we have programs for high achievers and gifted and everything in between.”
Lindquist told News 6 Anchor Julie Broughton she entered the teaching field in her 30s. She said she spent her 20s raising her daughter and working as a writer, but afterward, she began volunteering in her daughter’s classroom, she realized she wanted to teach.
“If people in their soul really want to be a teacher, they will not be happy anywhere else,” Lindquist said.
She added that it’s the mentors early in her career that inspire her to pay it forward as an adjunct professor at UCF and the internship-and-volunteer coordinator at Andover Elementary.
She said that she considers herself a bridge from college to teaching.
“So I love the chance to work with preservice teachers and share that passion with them,” she said. “I can bring them information and insight that they really want. They want to know how to make that transition from what they’re learning in their college classes to the classroom. Because we all know that often theory is different than practice.”
Andover Elementary School Principal Kevin Duncan called Lindquist a “master educator.”
“For a lot of veteran teachers who have been around a long time, she could probably dial it in, and she just doesn’t. Every day, she comes here excited, ready to learn and ready to have her students learn,” Duncan said.
Lindquist starts her 29th year in the classroom this year.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: