Dr. Carrie Pfeifer
Dr. Carrie Pfeifer DMLC ’81 has a passion for good teaching. She knows good teachers aren’t merely good with math or English, nor are they merely good with kids. Good teachers connect the learner and the subject matter—but there’s more. Good teachers understand that each child learns in a different way, and it is the teacher’s job to figure out each child’s instructional needs and meet those needs.
In many ways, Dr. Pfeifer has made this her life’s work. “Every student is unique,” she says, “and I enjoy finding out what helps each student experience success in school.”
When the school is a Christian school, the importance of solid teaching and learning is even greater—and so is Pfeifer’s passion. “A Christian education is such a special blessing for our children,” she says. “My passion is to be able to offer that blessing to as many children as possible.”
Pfeifer’s passion has been fed by experience. She has taught at almost every grade level, PK to high school, in her ministries at St. Matthew-Niles IL, St. John-Sleepy Eye MN, Minnesota Valley Lutheran HS-New Ulm MN, and St. Croix Lutheran Schools-West St. Paul MN.
At both area Lutheran high schools, she not only taught courses, but she also served as learning resources director, which affirmed to her the importance of differentiating instruction to meet each learner’s needs.
Many WELS teachers are familiar with Pfeifer through the continuing education courses and webinars she has taught through MLC the past several years, including the courses Human Relations and Understanding Autism, and the webinars on brain-based strategies for students who have learning issues and attention issues. Pfeifer created these webinars herself, and they are available this semester. She hopes to create more webinars on autism and literacy disorders. She also offers a one-credit online course in differentiated instruction, which is part of the Teaching that Works series.
Carrie and her husband, Gene, live in Inver Grove Heights MN and attend Good Shepherd-Burnsville MN. They have three adult children, Jesse, Nicole, and Jordan; and one new granddaughter, Makinley Mae, born in June to Jesse and his wife, Naomi.
Nicole and Jordan were adopted from South Korea. On a trip back there last March, Carrie and Gene found the agency where Nicole came from. “It was a pretty special day for us,” she says.
In addition to her work as Learning Resources Director at St. Croix Lutheran, she is also Director of Student Residences and teacher of English 4 and College in the Classroom Advanced Writing (in partnership with Bethany Lutheran College).
Carrie likes snowshoeing, bicycling, and playing with little Makinley. Another “hobby” is teaching speed reading and ACT/SAT/TOEFL test prep classes in her spare time.
As an English teacher, she will stick with the classic To Kill a Mockingbird as her favorite book. And her favorite music is that produced by her daughter, Nicole, who is an indie-rock singer and songwriter with one album made and another in the planning.
MLC continuing ed and graduate students are grateful that Carrie is willing to share her passion for good teaching with them, and Carrie is grateful to be their instructor.
“I think it is vital that teachers continue to learn and grow,” she says. “MLC's continuing education program and graduate programs offer high-quality courses from a Christian perspective. I feel very blessed to be a part of such an outstanding program. I enjoy working with such a high level of students—our synod is blessed to have such talented teachers in our schools.”