Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Heather Craig '08

Heather ConleyHeather Craig '08 teaches at Marlington Local Schools and is the founder and executive director of Love the Children Ministries, a nonprofit organization she started in 2004 to serve families in the city of Canton.

What is your advice for working in a secular world?
I remember being concerned about not being able to share Jesus with my students. Shortly after I had a classroom of my own I learned that every choice I make and every reaction I have shares Jesus with my students. When I build relationships with my students and fight for their hearts, Jesus is given the space to move freely in my room. Don’t be afraid to show your faith - it is a huge part of who you are and how you live!

What’s the greatest thing Malone prepared you for?
My time at Malone was incredible! I was prepared to write and execute lessons as well as step into a classroom of students. I knew what to expect for the most part and how to be flexible and handle unexpected things as well. Malone also helped me launch Love the Children Ministries. God gave the vision and Malone stood beside me and put me in contact with wonderful support people and taught me how to make it a reality.

What’s the best advice you could give about life after graduation?
Life after graduation can be hard, everyone finds careers or searches for one, and families begin to grow. Really consider the question, “What is my purpose here?” and serve God in the process of seeking the answer. In many ways graduation is a fresh start - embrace it and decide how you will impact the world for Christ, and honor the call placed on your life.

What skill should recent grads hone?
Networking and communication are incredibly important skills; finding great positions can happen from excellent networking and communication skills.

How did you find your first job?
I taught in a nearby district's remedial summer school program. The principal felt that I should be in a classroom on a full-time basis so he made phone calls to local principals on my behalf. A week later I had an interview for a part time position in Marlington Local Schools. After one year I was offered a full-time classroom position at Lexington Elementary. I not only love what I do, I love where I get to do it every day. (It is all about networking!)