Born to teach
In 1997, on her daughter’s first day of school at Meneley Elementary, fifth-grade teacher Trich Michitarian watched through the window of the classroom as she settled in.
On Monday, her daughter’s first day of teaching at Meneley, she held off the urge to watch through the window as she did 16 years before.
“I wanted to come over and watch her. She’s amazing,” Trich said. “I wanted to see it all come together.”
Megan Michitarian, 22, is Meneley’s newest first-grade teacher where her mother has taught for 17 years.
“I’ve known since I was 5 I wanted to be a teacher. It’s never changed,” Megan said. “I like planning and organizing things, and I love working with kids.”
Raised in Gardnerville, Megan graduated from Douglas High School in 2009 and University of Nevada, Reno in 2012.
All through college she continued to volunteer at Meneley as an aide, reading tutor or substitute.
“Megan, from first grade, was in my classroom before and after school everyday. While she was a reading tutor she worked with my kids, and she has volunteered in my room for many years, since middle school,” Trich said. “She has done everything. She’s read to my kids, graded papers, designed my bulletin boards. She’s been in this setting so long that this is a natural progression for her. She’s a better teacher than I will ever be. She’s a natural.”
Following college graduation, Megan began student teaching at Meneley with the goal of following in her mother’s footsteps as a fifth-grade teacher.
“I completely changed my mind about what grade I wanted to teach,” Megan said. “The age of the kids and how creative I could be in first grade just fit. I love seeing that light bulb when something clicks for them.”
When the first grade teaching position was announced in May, Megan applied. Two weeks later, she was hired.
“I was ecstatic I was so proud of her,” Trich said. “I was thrilled. This has been her dream to teach at this school. To see her be able to do that was incredible.”
During the summer, Megan began designing her classroom with some help from Trich.
“We talked about it a lot. She had a plan,” Trich said. “She’s known what she wanted her room to look like since she was 5 years old. It’s very creative, and colorful, and child-centered.”
The first day of school was a dream come true for Megan.
“I had two criers I had to console, but eventually they stopped. I introduced myself and was overjoyed,” she said. “No super big challenges yet. I love seeing their smiles everyday and giving me hugs.”
Megan now works beside five of the six teachers she had when she was a Meneley student.
“I try not to be too proud, but everybody knows her here,” Trich said. “She’s a product of everyone here. All the teachers she’s volunteered for, and helped. It hasn’t been just me.”
As for teaching first grade, Trich said there’s was no way she would ever switch.
“It is so much work. I have so much respect for primary teachers,” she added. “We have more grading to do, but these women have so much more planning and preparation. It’s amazing in first grade how much you have to prepare.”