LIBERTY, Mo. — Learning often takes a lifetime.
Teachers understand that, and they’re witnessing it among their colleagues at one metro elementary school. An unusual homecoming is bringing a former student back to class.
Some lessons never wear out. Such is the case at Liberty`s Manor Hill Elementary School, where tenured second grade teacher Jill Eltiste has a brand new co-worker.
New teacher, 22-year-old Megan Hansen, has returned to the same classroom where she attended second grade as a student.
Eltiste was one of her teachers back in 2004 — 15 years ago.
When she was hired during the summer months, Eltiste was one of her former instructors who got nostalgic. A photo from Hansen’s days as a child shows the two posing for a school photo.
“I remember (Eltiste) as being comforting and kind,” Hansen said. “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher just because of all the teachers I’d had who’d made an impact in my life. They kind of guided me to become a teacher,” said Hansen, who also grew up with educators in her family.
Eltiste’s classroom is next door to Hansen’s at the school, a proximity that lends itself to their friendship and comradery, as former student continues to learn from her teacher, who is now her professional colleague.
“Megan comes into the profession with a lot of natural ability. She has parents who were both educators. She’s grown up alongside of them,” Eltiste said.
“I’ve been leaning on her a lot with random questions, such as what to do in certain situations to how to turn on my projector. She’s been great and wonderful,” Hansen said.
Hansen said at one point, that classroom was where her mother taught second grade. Her mom is now retired after 28 years as an educator. The young teacher says with good guidance, she`ll make it that far in her career, too.
Both Eltiste and Hansen attended Northwest Missouri State University, located in Maryille and known for its education program, which has been accredited since 1954.
“The best part is getting to see a former student shine in the field of their choice and to get to see them flourish in a career they’ve chosen,” Eltiste said.