By: Abe Wolf
For the mid-winter issue, The Squire has turned its attention to a veteran teacher here at Eisenhower: Ms. Ludwig. She is an English and Language Arts Teacher, particularly for ninth, tenth, and twelfth grade, and is the advisor for the Academic Bowl team. She is a resident of Warren, Pennsylvania and has two golden-doodles, Phoenix and Murphy. The Squire took the time to partake in an email interview with Ludwig to learn more about her, the reason she teaches, and the interests she has.
The Squire (TS): What made you fall in love with English and literature and helped you find your passion in teaching?
Ludwig (L): My influences to start teaching…hmmmm….my parents would have to get the most credit for me being a Language Arts teacher. They instilled a love of reading that has been one of my passions my entire life. The educator who inspired me the most is a woman named Ruth Ann McKinney. She was my eleventh-grade English (we called it back in the day) teacher, and she was a very tough, but incredibly smart and entertaining teacher. She pushed us and made us better. I came back to teach at my alma matter, WAHS, and she was still there. I learned a great deal from her as an adult as well (By the way, for those of you who think I am rough, you should have been in her English class). I fell in love with English and literature, for one, because I was innately good at it…algebra, not so much. I love language. I love how things are phrased and choices authors make when conveying ideas and emotions to their audience. I can read about anyone, any place, anywhere. I can be entertained, informed, enthralled…and learn a whole bunch of new words in the process. One of the things I am most proud of is that all three of my children have grown up to be readers. I still remember reading the Harry Potter series to them when they were much younger, and if I had to be out of the house and wasn’t there for bedtime, no one else could read because they did not do the voices correctly.
TS: Where did you attend college and what degree(s) did you obtain?
L: I went to Edinboro for my Bachelor’s degree in English/teaching. I have a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and I am one final test and one internship away from my Principal’s Certificate (Let that one sink in….).
TS: What has been your favorite part of teaching throughout your career?
L: My favorite part is seeing where my students wind up as adults. I really love it when a student in college or tech school gets in touch to tell me that, yes, the research paper is a real thing, and they were prepared when many of their peers were not. One of my students dropped out as a senior and avoided me for three years because he knew I was so upset when he quit. We talked about NOT doing this over and over. He came to see me after he earned his GED degree and told me he was one of the top scorers in the state. He wanted me to know that. He knew it would still matter to me. I enjoy seeing what jobs students wind up doing, and I love seeing them with their families. Everyone wants to make a difference, I think, and all teachers have the opportunity to do that every day.
TS: If you had to choose one author to read for the rest of your life, who would it be?
L: I cannot choose one author. That sounds like a non-answer, but my reading tastes are very eclectic, and very dependent on my mood and/or attention span at the end of the day. I love the classics, of course, but there are SO MANY great books. I will tell you that I have made a pact that I am reading no more books about dogs or horses. My heart just can’t take it anymore. I am always looking for the next great reading recommendation.
The Squire wants to thank Ms. Ludwig for partaking in the interview and for giving students an insight into who she is and why she has a passion for teaching. We would also like to wish her good luck for the rest of the school year as the semester continues to wind down.