Giving and Receiving Unwavering Support
By Cori Bertsch, MHS Elementary Division Teacher
When I first came to Milton Hershey School and went through the interview process, I was blown away. I feel as an educator, it is the perfect situation. You have the support of everybody involved in the children’s lives. Whether it’s the parents/sponsors, the teachers, the houseparents, all of the support staff—we are all here to help the students become the best they can be.
Among the staff, there is also a lot of support. All of my colleagues, our principals, and the teachers—we are a family here. We really look out for each other. My husband is currently deployed and the MHS community has really supported my family through our difficult times. I am so blessed to call them my Milton Hershey family.
Every day on my way to work, I think through what my day will look like. As elementary educators, we are shaping students’ love for learning. These are the foundational years where they’re establishing what school is all about. It’s our job to make it engaging and get them excited to come and learn every day. My favorite part of the school day is the morning meeting when we talk about our day with the students and build on their social skills.
Every year, we have a theme and we try to follow that theme in the classroom. This year the theme is “Our Future in Focus.” As part of our morning meeting, we talk about how we can bring our future in focus this year. We talk about focusing on the positive things, the opportunities that we have, and how we are going to achieve our goals.
I’ve had students enter my class as non-readers, and it’s just incredible to see the growth and confidence that comes with the consistent education and support from MHS teachers. Students can grow so much, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.
This year has been a little different with the mitigation efforts for COVID-19. But we are being creative as teachers and the students are continuing to learn. We get to have lunch outside. We go on adventure walks. By the end of the day, we have shared so much laughter, happiness, and growth. It is so rewarding to know you have the opportunity to make a difference in these children’s lives.
I try to set a good example for my students and provide them with a safe environment where they can thrive, feel comfortable, and know that they’re loved. That’s what Mr. and Mrs. Hershey set out to do, so I feel it’s an honor for me and a big responsibility that I take very seriously.
I make sure that I always give it a hundred percent and I tell my students that they are so loved. I am their biggest fan. I’m going to push them. I’m going to support them. I’m always there cheering for them. And at the end of the day, I’m always there no matter what the outcome. I really truly love them, care about them, and want them to be successful. And I know that’s what Mr. and Mrs. Hershey wanted as well.