Rachel Karger is the Director of Bands at Chandler Public. In addition to band, she also teaches Humanities and an ACT Prep class. She grew up in Atlanta, Texas – a small town similar to Chandler in North East Texas. She attended college at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas.
Q Who or what led you to teaching?
A The first time I was inspired to become a teacher was in my elementary math class with Mrs. Cullins. She was such a fantastic lady. She always made learning so fun and interesting. I would imagine that’s a difficult task for a math teacher. It was the very first time I remember thinking “I want to be like her.” I absolutely loved the idea of being a teacher when I was a little girl. I would play dress up and stand in front of my stuffed animals to teach them things. I’d have a clip board, pen, markers, and papers to give them as homework. Every Christmas I would beg my parents for more school supplies. It’s just always been in my heart.
Q Did you have any key mentors who influenced your decision to become a teacher?
A The biggest mentors of my education and career are my college band directors. I met J.P. Wilson, Head Director at SAU, my junior year in high school while he was the clinician of the Four States Honor Band I participated in. He visited with me and asked if I was interested in music education. He helped me figure out what I wanted to do and how to get there. While attending SAU, Sarah Mickey was my clarinet instructor and encouraged me to stick it out everytime it got difficult and I wanted to give up. I still call them to this day for advice sometimes.
Q What motivates you to teach?
A My biggest motivation as a teacher is the sense of family we have in our band. I love creating a space with the students and parents where the kiddos feel inspired, safe, cared for, and successful. We build each other up when we’re down and help each other out when we can.
Q What are you most passionate about?
A I am most passionate about my family. I love watching my son grow and learn and going through different phases of life with Dan. As an educator, I am most passionate about making sure every student learns something in my classes they can take with them to actually use in life.
Q What is the biggest challenge you face as a teacher?
A The most challenging thing as a teacher for me is time management! I feel as though I’m usually in a rush to somewhere.
Q What is the best thing that has happened since you’ve been teaching?
A The best thing that has happened to me and my band is making a superior rating at state contest!
Q What is something students and parents might be surprised to learn about you?
A Students and parents might be surprised to know that I went skydiving five years ago. It was such an amazing experience! I highly recommend giving it a try!
Q What profession other than teaching would you most like to attempt?
A If I ever went into a different profession, it would have to be something that makes me laugh! I love to laugh and giggle so much!!! Is there a job where you can be a joke tester…? I will serve as the official laugh-o-meter!
Q What three things does every teacher need?
A Coffee, Germ-X, and pens
Q Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you spend your free time.
A I have been married to Dan for 12 years. We have one son, Tyler and one cute and ornery puppy, Ace. Tyler is five and in Mrs. Radcliffe’s Kindergarten class. Ace has a new found hobby of chewing my shoes!!! We all love going on adventures to explore the woods, 4-wheeler and buggy rides, swimming, and going to the lake. Dan and I love to fish and play yahtzee together. Someday we hope Tyler has the same love of fishing and playing board/card games.