Always speaking her truth: Mrs. Summer Sieller

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Always speaking her truth: Mrs. Summer Sieller

Mrs. Summer Sieller currently teaches tenth grade English and Women's Voices.

Mrs. Summer Sieller currently teaches tenth grade English and Women's Voices.

Mrs. Summer Sieller currently teaches tenth grade English and Women's Voices.

Mrs. Summer Sieller currently teaches tenth grade English and Women's Voices.

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TOWAMENCIN- Mrs. Summer Sieller graduated from North Penn High School in 2001 and then attended a small liberal arts college with around 1,000 fewer students than her high school. Now Sieller has been a NPHS English teacher for thirteen years and brings a small school environment to her classroom every day. 

“Despite North Penn being a big school, I always found a way in every grade-tenth, eleventh, and twelfth-to make it feel like a smaller school for myself and that is something I emphasize for my students,” said Sieller. 

Sieller was a part of Key Club, class cabinet, and student government. Her involvement in multiple activities and her smaller pocket of friends helped Sieller find a home within the walls of North Penn. After high school, Sieller attended Albright College, a smaller campus where she could continue to thrive. 

“When I toured Albright and I felt this connection immediately when I walked onto the campus, I felt like I found what would be my second home. North Penn felt like my home, but I felt like that was my next home. Then being there and being at a small school, I grew so much in those four years. So because I had that small school environment for college, I feel like I just brought that back here,” explained Sieller. 

Sieller is the oldest of three kids, so she had no footsteps to follow when entering college. She visited home a lot in her freshman year of college, but once she landed a job as a lifeguard and tour guide her spring semester, she became more accustomed to the college lifestyle. Sometimes people don’t see how much they have changed over a period of time until later, and Sieller views her college years as an example of that. 

“I think then staying at school as much as possible and learning from different groups of people, learning from people that I didn’t know before I stepped foot onto that campus. I think your experiences with other people help you grow up in a way that you don’t even recognize in yourself until times goes by [and] years go by,” described Sieller. 

I think your experiences with other people help you grow up in a way that you don’t even recognize in yourself until times goes by [and] years go by”

— Mrs. Summer Sieller - NPHS English teacher

Sieller knew for a while that the field of education was where she belonged. Sieller admired her teachers in middle school, who formed strong connections with her and other students in the classroom. Sieller’s talent for helping others through difficult situations also factored in her career choice.

“When it comes to English, I also always enjoyed reading. When it came down to making a decision about what kind of teacher I wanted to be, I just found myself always going back to the idea of literary text and seeing a story in a new way at the end before I had starting reading and my love of writing. I always have enjoyed writing and expressing myself. I felt like that was an avenue that  I would be most comfortable within the classroom. That’s why I chose English,” explained Sieller. 

After earning her teaching degree, Sieller stayed at Albright College for another year working as an admissions counselor. That position allowed Sieller to use her passion for communication with students and parents at Albright College. Sieller was offered to work the same position for another school year, but deep down Sieller knew her heart wasn’t in college admissions, leading her to North Penn High School. 

“I applied for several jobs and had several job interviews. I ended up landing the PPD position. They have a permanent per diem substitute position at this school, so that was the position that was offered to me, and I decided I was going to take it. That was the fall of 2006,” added Sieller. 

Sieller credits her permanent substitute position as an opportunity where she gained deep insight and valuable experience that helped her later on.

“At the time we had a sub for every subject area, so I was the only one at the time who was certified in English. For the most part, I subbed in all English classrooms that were open every day. That also gave me a lot of experience that year because I was reading lesson plans that other English teachers had been creating. I was stepping into their shoes, even if it was only for the day, I feel like I learned a lot about teaching before I was officially given my own classroom,” explained Sieller. 

Sieller believes that as the years have passed, she has become more aware of how vital student’s needs are when running a classroom. If students are not in a mindset to learn, a whole class period could be lost.

“Students come in and they have rough mornings. Students come in and they just had a fight with someone before they walked into your room. For me to recognize that they need time to decompress and they need time to be able to focus on the task at hand, identifying those kinds of needs was not something I felt I could do when I first started teaching,” said Sieller. 

Sieller’s husband is an administrator of an elementary school, and their children are five and eight years old. Their experiences in the field of education give them insight on how to most effectively help their children learn and grow. 

“Between the two of us, I feel like we have a good hold on what we need to be doing as parents because that’s a whole area of my life where I’m constantly learning every day,” described Sieller. 

Sieller and her husband also took on the hobby of CrossFit together. Sieller was at first intimidated by the thought of being surrounded by athletes in a CrossFit box, but now she attends classes three times a week. Sieller always encourages students to overcome challenges, and that’s what’s she is doing through CrossFit.

“I like watching the coaches at my gym and how they work with us as students. It’s something that’s applicable to my life here. I think you can always learn. You can learn how to be a better teacher every single day. I don’t think any teacher has mastered it yet, no matter how long you have been teaching,” added Sieller. 

Sieller also tries to bring in her role as a mother, wife, and sister into the classroom.

“All of my own life experiences have absolutely helped shape who I am. I can bring that into my stories in the classroom, and I can hopefully elicit student’s perspectives of their own lives through the things that I have gone through,” said Sieller. 

All of my own life experiences have absolutely helped shape who I am. I can bring that into my stories in the classroom, and I can hopefully elicit student’s perspectives of their own lives through the things that I have gone through”

— Mrs. Summer Sieller - NPHS English teacher

On the wall behind Sieller’s desk, there is a phrase in bold letters: “Always speak your truth.” Learning is a daily part of life. Sieller hopes that through all her life experiences, she can help students speak their own truth.