Longtime All Saints co-teachers bring out the best in each other and their students
By Debbie Musser
Catholic school teachers possess a strong dedication to their students, helping them succeed in the classroom and beyond. At All Saints Catholic School in Lakeville, a pair of teachers also share a special commitment to each other to be the best they can be for their students.
Sue Falvey and Tiffany Clark have been teaching fifth grade at All Saints for 15 years, planning and working together as a team.
“They’ve openly shared new ideas and have always had a great respect for each other, which strengthens their teaching and their students’ educational experiences,” said Carol Margarit, All Saints principal.
Fifth grader Owen Nielson, a student in Mrs. Clark’s homeroom, enjoys both teachers. “Mrs. Clark explains things clearly and is really caring to all the students,” he said. “Mrs. Falvey is funny and makes math easy to understand and entertaining. And they are both really organized and patient.”
All Saint’s fifth grade was the first teaching position for both Falvey and Clark. “I didn’t decide to be a teacher until our oldest child was 12 and our youngest was age 5,” Falvey said. “I was a paraprofessional in the Lakeville public schools and absolutely loved working with elementary students. What I wanted most was to be a classroom teacher, so I went on to pursue my teaching degree from St. Catherine University and, a few years later, my master’s from the University of St. Thomas.”
Clark received her education degree from St. Cloud State University and her master’s degree from St. Catherine. “The thought of being responsible for teaching these young minds everything they need to know really made me nervous at first, and it still overwhelms me sometimes,” Clark said. “I’m comforted when I remember that we are a team. Sue and I are constantly reevaluating how and what we teach to make sure it’s still the best way to reach all of the standards and all of the students.”
Each teacher instructs their homeroom students in language arts, religion and ability grouping in math, where they teach math to a mixture of students from the two classes. All students receive science instruction from Clark and social studies from Falvey.
“Sue and I are constantly reevaluating how and what we teach to make sure it’s still the best way to reach all of the standards and all of the students.”
Lakeville North High School ninth grader Brielle Croke has fond memories of the teacher pair when she was a student at All Saints. “I appreciated their love for their faith and music, which they played during our work time,” Croke said. “They were really great teachers, always very happy, and it was obvious that they loved teaching.”
Falvey said that they bounce ideas off each other for new methods, curriculum or discipline approaches. This ongoing collaboration draws upon their strengths to create uplifting classroom environments rooted in faith.
“Tiffany has taught me many ways to incorporate faith into all lessons, not limiting it to religion class,” Falvey said. “And we help each other