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MAY 2019 Teachers Profile AMY HOWARD, Sixth grade Language Arts teacher Robert A. Taft Middle School, Crown Point Profile LAKE COUNTY Why Teaching is More Than a Day Job: Fun and games are a key part of the educational experience in Amy Howard’s classroom. “I love to joke and have fun with the kids,” Howard says. “I have jokes-of-the-day that the students call ‘cringey’ because they are really that bad. That makes it all the more fun for me!” Howard took a break from teaching to stay home with her three children until they started school. Now in her third year of teaching at Taft, Howard also hosts a Crafts for Charity Club in which participants donate handmade things to charity. She also coaches the girls track team. FavoriTe ParT oF Teaching: Howard says she loves watching her kids grow as students and individuals throughout the school year. She also treasures theme days, which are as fun for her as they are for her students. One such day this past school year was a ‘beach day’ paired with a story her class was reading. She recalls: “I brought in blankets for them to lie on while they read the story. After reading, we threw around a beach ball that had comprehension questions written on it. The students were required to answer a question after catching the ball. Not only was it fun hitting the beach ball around the classroom, it also was engaging and educational.” Why Teaching is More Than a Day Job: her that she was destined for a career in elementary education. It’s a destiny she’s never regretted, one that brings moments of celebration daily. “I love seeing the pride in my students’ faces when they master a skill. They know it was their hard work and determination that got them there.” Chance, who has two young children of her own, initially taught first grade and is in her fifth year of teaching kindergarten. “As a kindergarten teacher, Kindergarten teacher Timothy Ball Elementary School, Crown Point excellence Recognizing Excellence in Teaching Through Dedication, Compassion & Knowledge A child development class Kate Chance took when she was 16 convinced KATE CHANCE, of I feel it is important to make sure each student begins their school career enjoying school. I want them to see just how great their potential truly is.” PORTER COUNTY Music education runs in Laura Alonzo’s family. Alonzo’s mother was an elementary school music teacher, and Alonzo recalls helping her out in the classroom over the years. This fueled Alonzo’s desire to teach music, and she received her degree in music education from Butler University. Now, she continues her proud family legacy of fueling students’ creativity and courage through music. “I want to give my students as many opportunities as possible to try activities outside of their comfort zone, like singing in a program or playing the ukulele. Who knows, they may end up finding their new hobby or calling!” FavoriTe ParT oF Teaching: As an elementary school music teacher, Alonzo has the unique privilege of watching her students grow during five years. She says she particularly enjoys seeing their personalities and interests evolve and enjoys nurturing their confidence through music. “One of my favorite teaching moments is talking with my students right before we go on stage for a performance we’ve worked really hard to prepare for. Some students are excited, others are scared, but everyone is nervous. But, seeing their faces light up when we’re performing and hearing them afterwards say how much fun they had … that’s why I teach!” Why Teaching is More Than a Day Job: Laura Alonzo, Music teacher Yost Elementary School, Porter Profile Purdue University graduate Lauren Candiano has taught for 14 years. Each year brings with it a new set of students and another opportunity for Candiano to impart the joy of learning. “The best thing about being a teacher is being able to have a positive impact on the students you teach. I love to show the students that learning can be fun. It’s a great feeling to hear them talk excitedly about a lesson or unit we’re working on.” FavoriTe ParT oF Teaching: Academics are important, but Candiano says her fondest memories are based on the relationships she builds. Weekly hikes with her students Every day in Chance’s classroom is as unique as each pupil. Her favorite provide glimpses into their personalities, as well as the opportunity to expand their education beyond the four walls of her classroom. “I feel it’s about a silly story, or, because we’re dancing goofy or singing, I feel that this is the time that I really get to know the kids and see another as though they see how fun school can be. It helps them look forward side of them. We have long chats about their lives outside of school while to coming in every day.” Kindergarten graduation also is a highlight of we’re looking for different types of leaves or we’re finding tadpoles. I the school year, as well as seeing the pride on her students’ faces as they Profile Why Teaching is More Than a Day Job: FavoriTe ParT oF Teaching: moments are the ones in which they laugh together, she says. “Whether ® Lauren Candiano, Second grade teacher Discovery Charter School, Porter feel really blessed to work in a school that puts an emphasis on outdoor show off everything they’ve learned. learning as well as academics.” Exclusively Valparaiso • Merrillville • Chicago P assion • C ommitment • e xCellenCe K en a llen l aw . Com (877)G o w ith K en Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, LLC, 1109 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN, responsible for content.