Phyllis J Hickox-Heald - 3rd Grade Teacher

Favorite vacation destination/hobby:

Favorite vacation destination:  I have only been once, but Nantucket was my all-time favorite place to visit.  The history plus the natural beauty offered in Nantucket made a perfect place to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

My favorite hobby is yoga.  I have recently started practicing yoga and hope to someday become a yoga instructor.


"What is the thing you like most about your work?"

The thing I like most about my work is, by far the students!  They give me such joy and a feeling of purpose.


"How has teaching enhanced your skills in other areas of life?"

I believe teaching has made me a better mom, wife, sister and friend.  Life lessons are learned every day in the classroom and those lessons travel with me wherever I go.


"What is the funniest thing a student has said to you?"

I came to school with a new hair style, and one of my students came up to me, smiling and said, “Mrs. Heald, are you having a bad hair day?”  I had to laugh!


"What was the hardest teaching skill to learn?" 


For me, the hardest teaching skill to learn was how to create meaningful lessons.  In the beginning of my teaching career,  I created my lessons by the rules, but I would often notice there was not a meaningful connection to the student.  Time in the classroom and working with all types of students has helped to build my skill level.



"What is the biggest misconception about teaching?"


This is a difficult question to answer, because different groups of people have different ideas of what teaching is all about.   I know most teachers truly never stop working.  I feel we are always on the lookout for something that might reach one of our students- a great book to share with the students, cool materials to offer our students- or just wanting to complete some professional development to grow our skills.   It is impossible for me to leave this job at school.  My parents were a teacher and a principal, so I was raised watching them embrace their life’s work.  It is truly an honor to teach.


"Why do you love Ritchie Park?"

I love the students and their families!  I feel a part of such a rich and supportive community.  And the staff is truly a joy to work with every day!


Favorite Movie:

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  I cry every time!


Favorite Musician:

Bruce Springsteen – I hope to win the next ticket lottery on 12/19!


Favorite Quote:

We have a family mantra we have always shared with each other when we part:

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.