Teachers of New Jersey: Megan Meyer Kindergarten Teacher at Howell Township Public Schools

I have been teaching for 31 years. My grandmother was a teacher. My mom is a teacher. My older sister is a teacher. We’re a family of teachers, so becoming a teacher came naturally to me. I didn’t want to do it at first, but I realized that if you do what you love, then you don’t work a day in your life, and I don’t feel like I go to work as a teacher. I get to hang out with children every day, which is very special to me and very important. And after 31 years, a lot of people think that you lose your passion, but I absolutely have not.

What keeps my passion burning is every year I keep researching what’s out there, and I challenge myself to add at least five new things. I believe learning should happen through fun at all times, and the five-year-olds that I do teach need to realize how empowered they’re becoming. I want them to start their career with a positive education. I want them to become lifelong readers; I want them to believe that engineering is possible for them, and that STEM is important, especially for my girls.

I became empowered from my mom and from teachers I had at school who believed in me. I was also very empowered by the sports in my community like softball, swimming, and horseback riding. When I was in school, acting in plays, cheerleading, all these things just empowered me to be braver about things and more empowered.

Even to this day, I am doing things at 54 years of age that you wouldn’t expect. I started stand-up paddleboarding last year, and a new thing I am doing with my family is axe throwing, and I go rock climbing at all kinds of places. It’s all so empowering!

As a young girl, I felt like I should just wear dresses, sit and be quiet, and be the good girl, and just behave, and I would get along just fine. But in 5th grade, I had a teacher who believed I could do more. She put me in writing competitions and believed that I could win.

I had other teachers supporting me in terms of pushing me beyond the writing competitions, to be physical, to be strong even though I was small, to be on the horse where I competed at a very high level in horse jumping, which wasn’t something I would be capable of doing. So doing all of that proves that it doesn’t matter your size; what matters is your heart. And so that’s what I try to bring to my kids in the classroom.

Interview by Gregory Andrus 

Portraits of the Jersey Shore 


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