July 2015 Top Notch Teacher: Heath Eliason

Eliason has been a math teacher at De Soto Middle School for 3 years

A math teacher at De Soto Middle School has only been there for three years, but he is already making a huge impact on many student lives.   

“I had a really good math teacher in high school,” said Heath Eliason.

Eliason has always wanted to be a teacher.

“I remember sitting in his class one day and looking at him as I was taking a test and thinking, ‘Man, he has a great job,'” said Eliason.

After hard work and dedication, Eliason landed his dream job of teaching and coaching basketball.

“In De Soto, I get to teach them in the middle school and then coach them when they get to high school, so it’s sort of a continuation of the relationship that you build with the kids in the classroom,” said Eliason.

Eliason said learning starts with a good relationship.

“When they walk through the door to the classroom, if they are comfortable with me, I think the ability for them to learn is much larger,” said Eliason.

A good relationship is especially important in math because it can be a hard subject for many students.

“Some kids don’t realize they have potential; some kids don’t have the confidence in math,” said Eliason.

Sixth grader Leah Meyer said math is a tough subject for her.

“When I was in elementary school, I was an ADD student and I was a year behind in like math,” said Meyer.

Once she got to middle school, she was nervous about math but she said having Eliason as a teacher made all the difference.

“Mr. E decided to put me into 6th grade math and he would do one-on-one with me, and I became more like less nervous,” said Meyer.

“I know every kid has that ability and it’s my job, I feel, to draw that potential out and have the kids have some success in math class,” said Eliason.

And that is why he continues to teach the way he does.

“I was able to confront my fears and he helped me all the way to 8th grade,” said Meyer.

“If you or I were to do anything we weren’t successful in, we probably wouldn’t want to do it, so that again is one of the things I really try to focus on is finding success for each kid,” said Eliason.

Eliason said he loves his job and looks forward to going to school every morning. He works across the hall from his wife and doesn’t plan to stop teaching anytime soon.