Teacher Feature – Monica Winckler

Posted: July 15, 2021

Growing Knowledge of Agriculture in the Classroom


School: Herman E. Dummer School, Sandwich

Grade: 4th Grade

Subjects: All subjects

Number of years teaching: 20

Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I use Ag Literacy materials in my classroom to supplement a unit on Illinois. I am the Ag Literacy Ambassador for my school, and I coordinate with community members to teach an Ag in the Classroom lesson to all of our 4th grade students. Our 4th graders also visit the Adams Family Beef Farm every year to learn more about agriculture. I have also attended Farm Bureau’s Summer Ag Institute for teachers.

What is your favorite unit to teach? I love teaching reading, especially our novel units. “Number the Stars” is a wonderful book that introduces students to WWII and the holocaust. Students show great empathy during this unit.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I love seeing students grow in their knowledge and skills. They change so much in a year and it’s very rewarding to be a part of the process.

What is something unique that you do in your classroom? My students have pen pals from Leland Elementary School. This helps my students understand purpose in writing, how to communicate, and words on friendship skills. We meet our pen pals at the end of the year!

Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? I feel students should know and understand where their food comes from and the amount of work that farmers put into providing it. I hope it will inspire some to look at agricultural careers in the future.


Hometown: Leland

Family: Husband, Erik, and daughters Sophia, Julia, and Ava

College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Illinois State University; Master’s Degree in Reading from St. Benedictine University

What did you want to be when you grew up? My aunt was my first grade teacher and I always knew I wanted to be teacher as well!


Quote: “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough!” Kid President
Hobbies: Spending time with my family, attending sporting events, swimming, hiking, camping, reading, shopping, and baking.

Book: “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

Music: 80’s

Sports teams: Chicago Cubs & Blackhawks

Travel destination: National Parks – Sequoia, Arches, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone.