School: Hiawatha Elementary School
Subjects: Reading Specialist
Number of years teaching: 29 years
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I grew up on a grain and hog farm in Waterman. My parents and relatives were very active with Farm Bureau. I have participated in the Summer Ag Institute twice. I learned so much about current farming and was amazed by the technology used in agriculture.
What is your favorite unit to teach? My favorite topics to teach about are farm animals, bugs, and crops in Illinois. I use interactive Ag Mags to teach these units.
What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love getting to know each student and their families. The excitement is contagious when they learn something new!
What is something unique that you do in your classroom? I work with small groups of students so they are often able to pick the topics they read about. I teach in a farming community, but few of the students live on a farm, so it’s fun to teach about a topic that’s right outside their window!
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? It’s important that students learn about food and farming so they know where their food comes from.
Share one memorable teaching story. One day I was sharing a story with a group of first graders about something that happened at home while I was getting ready for work. One of them asked me where I worked. It warmed my heart that they didn’t see what I do as work.
Family: I am married with two married children and three perfect grandsons.
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from NIU; Master’s Degree in Reading from NIU.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A farmer’s wife! (It didn’t happen.)
Quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, try try, try again.” Thomas Palmer
Hobbies: Reading, walking/hiking, traveling
Book: “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult
Sports team: Hiawatha Hawks and any team my grandsons play on
Movie: “Mr. Holland’s Opus”
Travel destination: Any beach during the winter!