Familiar faces in new places

Krajicek, Eikmeier, Zabrocki teaching in different classrooms

Natalie Zabrocki explains concepts to her geometry class. Zabrocki moved to a new classroom for more space and better lighting. (Bryce Kolc)

This year, Yutan students are seeing some familiar faces in new places. 

One of these faces is social studies teacher Dan Krajicek, who moved to a new classroom and switched from teaching industrial arts to social studies.

Even though Krajicek’s teaching certificate is in social studies, he is still finding the switch to be an adjustment.

“I knew it was going to be a big change because that’s (industrial arts) what I’ve been doing since I got out of college,” Krajicek said.

Krajicek has had a positive experience with the changes. 

“It’s a lot less stressful,” Krajicek said. “I’m not having to worry about kids getting injured or stuff breaking in class.”

Krajicek also likes having one classroom instead of three separate rooms in the shop this year.

“It’s a lot easier to take care of, a lot easier to manage,” Krajicek said.

Even with the positive outcomes of switching subjects, Krajicek misses teaching industrial arts.

“I like working with my hands,” Krajicek said. “I like watching kids build stuff and learn, you know, hands-on kind of stuff.”

English teacher Ginger Eikmeier also took the opportunity to move to a new classroom after another English teacher left last year. 

“I just thought it might be a good opportunity to get into a fresh space since I’d been in my other classroom for probably ten years,” Eikmeier said.

Changing classrooms was a challenge for Eikmeier after teaching in the same space for so long.

“It was a lot of work,” Eikmeier said. “You accumulate things in ten years of teaching, a lot of things.”

I can’t wait until people start referring to it like this is Mrs. Zabrocki’s classroom”

— Natalie Zabrocki

Even though the switch was a challenge, there have been positive outcomes.

“I like having the window to the outside even though sometimes it can be a distraction when students can see what’s going on outside,” Eikmeier said. “I like the space, and I like the way I set the room up.”

Math teacher Natalie Zabrocki decided to move to a new classroom this year after another math teacher left last year.

“I chose to take over this classroom for the larger classroom space and the window,” Zabrocki said.

With the switch, Zabrocki has faced similar challenges to Eikmeier.

“It forced me to organize all of my stuff after teaching for ten years,” Zabrocki said. “You kind of start hoarding things.”

Zabrocki has worked at making the new classroom feel like it’s hers.

“We refer to it always as Mr. Henkel’s old room,” Zabrocki said, “and the only thing is I can’t wait until people start referring to it like this is Mrs. Zabrocki’s classroom”