The Kids in Gary, IN

Op-Ed: A teacher talks turkey dinner. Her 3rd-graders can’t believe what they are hearing!

How did a teacher’s classroom come to be one of the most successful in the country? And how did the students there become an industry by themselves?

Dedicated, hard-working and dedicated. These are the hallmarks of the kids in Gary, IN.

As the new principal of Westwood Middle School, one of those kids in the Gary district, I have decided they are the new gold standard in the world of education.

It’s not that I am so special. In fact, I am pretty normal.

I am not a superstar. I am just a middle school teacher who believes in high expectations, high standards, high performance and high-performing teachers. (These are my personal characteristics and not a set of rules for all teachers or schools. We are who we are and our personality is what drives our learning. It is not rocket science.)

I got my start in education after a career in human services, where I became adept at connecting the emotional and physical needs of human beings in their earliest days of childhood through their education. I knew I was drawn to early childhood education because I believed in it. I knew I was driven because I felt for the children I worked with and knew it was my calling to have something larger than me take root in my life

I knew that teaching high-performing children would be a lifelong mission

I believed in myself. I loved the art of the classroom, the joy of working with individual children and my teachers.

I believed I wanted to change the world for the better.

My dream, my goal, the reason I left a secure government job in Chicago to put myself out there and do something great, became the reality of making our students a high performing, high quality, high performing, high quality, high-performing, high-performing team.

When I saw what my students at Westwood looked like and performed like, I knew it was time for me to leave my job in Chicago and become a teacher

When I saw what my students were doing and accomplished in the classroom, when I saw that the students I worked with were high achieving, high quality, high performing, high quality and high-performing, I knew it was time to stop my job in Chicago and do something amazing

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