From a very young age, Asdid Derouen knew her heart belonged with kids.


“I love what I do,” Derouen said. “This is what I was meant to do.”


Derouen is a life-long learner and has taught kids from preschool up to 4th grade. She currently teaches 2nd grade at Swanson Elementary School in Palmer; a place that feels like a second home for her.


“They’re my family, and I tell them everyday,” said Derouen. “I tell them, ‘you are my daytime family’ and that is so important to me, as well as them. Once you’re in my heart, you’re in my heart.”


The students’ artwork covers the classroom walls, and an entire corner of her classroom looks like a mini-library, with books overflowing on shelves.


“It’s up to them to discover, to create and just push themselves for more,” Derouen said.


She encourages her students to constantly create, read and think outside the box. For example, for a stem [science, technology, engineering and math] lesson, she tasked her students to build the tallest building they could imagine using paper note cards and they lessons they had learned about gravity and balance.


“I love to watch them make connections,” Derouen added. “When they come to me, they’re at their fresh age of 7. When they leave they’ve grown a year academically… they’ve grown as an individual, as a person. I get to be a part of that life forever.”



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