By Tony Hooker
Where did you grow and go to high school?
I grew up in Watseka, IL and graduated from high school there in 1989.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher?
I knew that I wanted to be a teacher after taking a math class in college. I struggled with math when I was growing up and I was taking an intermediate algebra class in college and something the professor said made it all click. I went on to take calculus 1 and 2. I wanted to be able to do that for other kids and show them that all things are possible.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Working with kids has always come naturally to me. I have worked with children of all ages and was always comfortable around them. It is so awesome to see their faces light up when they create something amazing or discover new information. It is that moment when they smile with satisfaction that I know they feel good about themselves and have learned something.
Where else have you taught/student taught?
I taught preschool for 10 years. Seven of those were at a preschool that I started in Mahomet. I did my student teaching in a 5th grade classroom at Blue Ridge in Mansfield. From there I moved on to Iroquois West Upper Elementary where I taught 4th grade Science and Social Studies.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love being outside doing anything. I enjoy running, camping, sunshine, and playing baseball.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I can’t think of just a single person who has influenced me, as there have been many people in my life who have helped me along the way. Former teachers, family, my husband and children, they have all influenced me and supported me on my journey.
One thing that your students should know about you?
I like to create lessons that the kids will remember many years from now. I use a lot of music and crazy songs to help them learn and remember things and that always makes them laugh. I always joke and tell them you may laugh now but someday when you are famous make sure you give me a shout out when you are on tv.
Thank you for doing this and allowing me to introduce myself to the community.