Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bravo, Monica!

Chicago summer is in it's dog days now. Hot and humid night and day. Monica is preparing to go back to school. Big Sigh.
She is ready to get ready, but I don't even want to think about summer ending yet.
Monica gives 200% teaching her kindergarten students, so once the school year starts there's basically no let up until next summer. When her kids leave her for 1st grade, they can read, write, write sentences, add, subtract, and do fractions. Monica is a great believer in the humanities and makes sure they are introduced to art and music and their own creativity. It's amazing watching their progress during the year. But, Monica sends them off with more than a solid academic and social skills start.

She goes where they are. Whether the five year old has previous pre-school experience and fully supportive parents, to seven year olds who have never been to school, to kids with parents in prison or on drugs. Somehow with 27 kids in this mixed bag, (and no teacher's aide) she manages to instill in them the self discipline they need to listen and learn. Yeah, she's tough too.
But, through her constant positive reinforcement they learn to know and want the feeling of accomplishment.

Teachers need that too, so it was wonderfully gratifying when Monica got this note from her school's principal, regarding the primary grades at her school.

".... School was recognized at the Reading First Conference in Nashville, TN for having the second highest increase of students at Benchmark Level (Reading First). Their growth was 23%, the highest in Chicago Public Schools and the second highest in the entire state of Illinois."

Wow! Jackie doing a happy dance, buttons popping off with pride for Monica and all her hard work.

But the Congrats don't stop with Moni.
Congratulations also goes to Judy, another wonderful veteran kindergarten teacher at the school, who is now teaching the children of her former students. And to the 1st, 2nd and especially the difficult 3rd grade teachers for building on Monica and Judy's foundation. And most of all, KUDOS to the kids, some who have little at home support.

When you think about kindergarten, there will be no other grade where children will learn more in one year. So thanks again Monica and Judy for sending them off with a love and respect for learning.


jjbrock said...

Congratulations Monica!for a job well done. I can remember my first grade teacher after all these years. She made such an impact on my life.

Darius T. Williams said...

Congrats to all the teachers for doing the job that they've done...we wouldn't be who or what we are without them.

Dustin said...

Congratulations Monica and Judy on a job well done! You never know what a difference you make in your student’s lives. I vividly remember second grade and last year when my second grade teacher contacted me, I was pleasantly surprised; she actually remembered me!

The school system is fortunate to have teachers who care about children as much as you two do.

“But, through her constant positive reinforcement they learn to know and want the feeling of accomplishment.”

This pretty much sums it up! Congratulations again!

Gabi Clayton said...

Teachers like Monica and Judy make children's lives so full and exciting, and that has such an important impact on young people's attitudes about learning throughout their lives.

Thank you, Monica and Judy!
And thanks Jackie for this wonderful tribute.

Monica Roberts said...

Congratulations Monica and Judy! As a TK I witnessed firsthand what a truly dedicated teacher has to go through to teach their students, and have much love and respect for you.

You not only have the toughest job in the world, you and the thousands of dedicated teachers across this country truly do touch the future.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the congratulations, everyone! You all made me feel pumped up and ready to go in back in September.
Jackie, thanks for saying such wonderful things about me. I am fortunate to have a supportive partner to come home to after long school days.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Jackie...
A truly impressive story about Monica. Simple yet profound. It shows how
one teacher can positively affect the future lives of young children. There is
no better love than this. Indeed, Bravo Monica!