Alumna Profile: Heather Stables

Heather Stables (nee Burns) (Ed.M.'00) always had a passion for helping children, and knew as early as grade school that she wanted to be a teacher.

“During some science and math classes I would listen to my teachers and think that I could explain this in a different way,” recalls Stables.

Her dream of becoming a teacher was supported by her parents, Carl and Ruth Ann Burns, who are both Rutgers University alum and proud supporters. A scholarship at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) was established in their family’s honor by The Foundation for Child Development to recognize Ruth Ann’s 20 years of service as a director and chair.

Growing up in Edison, New Jersey, Stables was very familiar with Rutgers, but at first decided to take a different path then her parents and she attended Villanova University her freshman year.

It did not take Stables long to realize what she was missing going to college outside of the state. After two years, she transferred back home to attend Rutgers.

“Sometimes you think the grass is greener,” says Stables, “and then sometimes you realize it is not.”

After an enjoyable experience, and wanting to have more opportunities for her career, Stables enrolled in the GSE. As a graduate student, Stables became focused on developing her skills to be a great teacher.

“I wanted to learn for learning sakes,” describes Stables, “and not just to get a good grade.”

Stables is currently living her dream as a math teacher at John P. Stevens High School in Edison. She loves interacting with her classes and making personal connections with her students. Stables enjoys seeing her students rise to the expectations that she sets for them.

Though she cannot imagine doing anything else, Stables acknowledges the many challenges teachers face today then when she first started.

Not having enough time in the day, deciding what is most important, and new initiatives are just a few of the challenges teachers face on a daily basis. Stables knows that this is all part of the job.

“As a teacher you have to tackle any obstacles thrown your way,” explains Stables. “There are always changes in education.”

Stables believes teaching is one of the best professions. Even with the changes in education, Stables encourages others with the same passion to pursue their dream.


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