Educator Spotlight: Ludington Elementary School’s Alan Albrecht

May 22, 2022

Educator Spotlight: Ludington Elementary School’s Alan Albrecht

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, Staff Writer.

Educator Spotlight is a presentation of is a presentation of Smith & Eddy Insurance, with offices in Scottville and Manistee, offering discounts for MEA members and school employees.

PERE MARQUETTE TWP – Ludington Elementary School teacher Alan Albrecht has taught his entire 21 year career at Ludington Area Schools District.

“I have taught two years in first grade and 19 years in kindergarten,” he said. “My first two years were first grade at Franklin and Summit schools. Then I switched grade levels my third year to kindergarten. I have been there the rest of my career. After my days at Summit School, I moved to Pere Marquette School in the portable classroom, aka the Gingerbread House. After one year in the portable, I was able to move into the building at Pere Marquette. Then in 2008, I moved over to Lakeview. From 2008 to 2021, I taught kindergarten at Lakeview and loved listening to the waves crash against the shores of Lake Michigan. In January of 2022, I moved over to Ludington Elementary School and a new adventure.”

Having 19 years in the kindergarten classroom, Albrecht knows that building relationships with his students is very important because it really sets the foundation for a love of learning and sharing experiences at a very young age.

“The most important thing to me is building relationships with each and every student that walks into my room,” he said. “Cindy Hill (a now retired LASD teacher) told me when I was student teaching that nothing matters more than the relationships you build with your students. After that I have really enjoyed teaching kids to read. It is so much fun to see their eyes light up as they realize they are actually reading. Another subject that I really enjoy teaching is writing. I love giving the kids the power to choose their own topics when it comes to writing. They have unbelievable ideas.”

Like Albrecht has done with building relationships, he credits his teachers at a young age who did the same thing with him.

“From an early age I knew that I wanted to go into education,” he said. “I was blessed with great teachers who took the time to invest in me as a learner. When I went off to college,  I knew that I wanted to work with children. By becoming a teacher, I am able to make a difference in so many lives and it is a way for me to give back to the community that I live in. Each day is a new adventure and no matter how tough a day is there is always an event that reminds me of why I went into teaching.”

Even though he wouldn’t change his career for anything else, Albrecht, like most teachers wishes some things were different in the field of education.

“If I were to change anything in my field in today’s society it would be getting all the paperwork out of the way,” he said. We need to allow teachers to just teach the students the skills they need to be successful.”

When teaching kindergarten, you’re usually one of the first educators in a student’s life, but then they go on to having so many other teachers, a lot of time the lower elementary teachers become past memories, but Albrecht said he really enjoys seeing previous students, whether during upper level events or even after they have graduated and moved on in life.

“One of my fondest memories came when I was at Meijer with one of my children and I heard a voice say, ‘Oh my, that’s Mr. Albrecht!,’” he said. “As I looked up at the person who had said that, I saw a young man dressed in his Marines uniform, freshly graduated from boat camp. He proceeded over to me with an outstretched hand and said ‘thank you for all you did for me when I was in your class!’ This took me back and I immediately saw the little boy sitting back in my classroom at Summit School.”

No matter what students want to pursue after they finish school, Albrecht said he does have some advice for those wanting to seek a career in education.

“The advice I would have for students wanting to go into education today is to take time to build relationships with all your students. You will never know the difference you make in your students’ lives. One smile, one good morning, one goofy act might just change your students life forever.”

With a big move to the new Ludington Elementary School during the middle of this school year, Albrecht has had to meet his class in his old classroom, get them comfortable in their first year as kindergarteners, then pack up his entire classroom and move to the new school, all before Christmas break. Needless to say, it hasn’t been the smoothest of school years, but Albrecht said his students have done a great job adapting to all the new changes.

“The transition to the new school has been a little difficult with a mid-year move,” he said. “The kids were very flexible with the move and haven’t skipped a beat. Myself on the other hand, finding everything I had packed and moved isn’t always the easiest. That is going to be my summer task, organizing things in my room to make life easier. I feel that this move has brought the Foster, Franklin, and Lakeview staffs together and has started to build a stronger elementary team. I also see endless possibilities for our students in the new LES building. Our amazing staff hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what our new building has to offer. I am looking forward to continuing my time here in Ludington and teaching at LES. There are so many things that I have enjoyed from working in the education field. I love going to high school games and running into former students. The stories that they have to tell me about when they were in kindergarten are great to hear. I have really enjoyed is building lifelong friendships with my coworkers and parents of students that I have had.”

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