For Carbondale teacher Nicole Rasmus, all the world is a stage. Well, most of it. The 8th grade English Language Arts teacher also teaches theater electives and serves as the school district’s drama director. When she’s not at work, she’s at home in Old Forge with her husband and two sons. Read more to find out more about her theater background and what drew her to teaching:

Q: What made you decide to pursue a career in teaching?

A: Prior to pursuing a career in teaching, I spent most of my young life performing in regional and local theater. After receiving my master’s degree in theater, I was afforded the opportunity to serve as an adjunct professor at Marywood University and also as a drama director for a local school district.

Working in this capacity, I had opportunity to work with junior and senior high school students in mounting theatrical stage productions. Being able to teach students about the various crafts of theater and to help them develop their skills was tremendously rewarding. I loved witnessing how much each of the students grew throughout the rehearsal process. It was humbling to understand that I had played a small role in their growth and success.

While I have been fortunate to have played many roles in my career, the “role” of drama director was the most special and gratifying to me. This experience prompted me to go back to graduate school and attain my teaching certification.

Q: What’s the best part of being an English Language arts teacher? The hardest?

A: An ELA teacher is responsible to provide students instruction that fosters reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking skills. I love to introduce students to different genres of literature: novels, short stories, poetry, prose and drama. I love when students recognize the deeper meanings within a text and relate it to their lives and their world. The pandemic has impacted teaching greatly. Now, teachers must plan and deliver instruction that addresses gaps in student learning and address the social and emotional learning as well. Despite this, my students are eager to be in school and together, we are sorting it all out.

Q: How did you get involved in the school district’s drama club?

A: Shortly after joining the Carbondale Area School District, the drama director vacancy was posted. I was fortunate enough to be selected. We have a great group of students who are excited about doing musicals. And what is most exciting, the number of students in drama club has tripled since last year! This year, the Carbondale Area Drama Club presented a production of Fiddler on the Roof in January … with a very enthusiastic and talented cast and crew of 55 students!

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in education?

A: In order to be an effective teacher, you must be passionate, hard-working, creative and flexible. My favorite part of being a teacher is when a student demonstrates growth and/or masters a skill covered in class. When you recognize the confidence that a student gains when he/she understands content or masters a new skill, It’s very rewarding!

Q: When you’re not teaching, what do you like to do?

A: When not in school, my family keeps me very busy. My husband and I have two sons. The oldest is in his first year at King’s College and the youngest is a freshman in high school. When not in school or play rehearsal, I enjoy attending my son’s football and basketball games. Additionally, my husband and I are always throwing ourselves into home improvement projects