Updated: February 11, 2013 6:33AM
An unintended silence about teachers’ dedication
I am a parent of three students at Ridge Circle Elementary school (District U46) in Streamwood. Today, with the district’s continued financial hardships and the constant struggle of administrators to turn around a broken school system, it’s convenient for me to blame the system for not taking care of the problem of not recognizing excellent educators.
I have overlooked a parent’s responsibility in recognizing specific teachers who continue to instill the values expressed in the district’s improvement plan of reaching “Academic Success for All” to my three children and others at Ridge Circle Elementary School.
It is a matter of urgency that educators receive their earned recognition for their continued efforts at Ridge Circle Elementary, and the education community of Illinois for their dedication for helping reach “Academic Success for All.”
Erin Hargadon was the kindergarten teacher and the introduction point of U46 education for all my three children. There is no doubt that Hargadon’s efforts from the onset of education instilled the true value of education in my children and others for many years at Ridge Circle. It was a terrible loss to Ridge Circle when Hargadon left after working at Ridge for seven years.
Essential continuity of motivation was expertly provided by Amy McFarland in the transition from kindergarten to first grade for my son. McFarland provided my son the extra assistance required to continue the motivation and eagerness in learning with her teaching style. Unfortunately, McFarland has left not only Ridge Circle Elementary but also District U46.
Charlotte Janura provided my two oldest children with one of the most important skill sets required for education and life in general. In one short year, Janura fostered the development of inquiry skills to understand and question science and technology from the “how stuff works” perspective. Janura’s teaching style challenged my children to inquire and learn to be successful.
My daughter’s fourth-grade teacher nurtured self- motivation. According to my daughter, Lindsay Ross created an environment in her class room where she became comfortable with facts and figures. Ross understood the fact that 9-year-olds are at an intermediate age where there are no longer children but not yet youths. Her teaching style helps students overcome their fear of math and develop a sense of reason and ethics.
Cynthia Costa’s years of solid, fundamental teaching experience and understanding of a child’s nature at this critical age are proving exceptional. Costa has helped kids for years write clear, coherent essays, exhibiting awareness of audience and purpose, which are skills that even many adults haven’t mastered. Costa has helped my daughter understand increasingly complex and abstract math concepts with her straightforward, no-nonsense teaching style. This teacher’s encouragement of my daughter who was once “hated” social studies to open her mind and embrace learning about diversity in cultures is inspiring. As a worldwide road warrior, I have unsuccessfully tried conveying stories of my visits and tried to instill the importance of understanding the new global community. Armed with only her teaching style and limited resources, Costa has been able to capture the passion and begin the understanding process. I look forward to have Costa continue to instill in the students of Ridge Circle about the importance of writing and their role as citizens in our global community.
Due to the current environment at Ridge Circle, there are few after-school activities available for students. Credit for the effective management of the one the few after-school activities, “Battle of the Books,” must go to Lori McNally. She has achieved success in convincing my daughter’s team about the importance of positive attitude, teamwork and self-confidence. McNally has energized these kids into enjoying reading and gives kids self-confidence and team building skills that will prove invaluable throughout their lives.
I ask other parents at Ridge Circle Elementary and other U46 schools to voice their positive experiences with their children’s educators and have them be recognized by their administrators and community as well to achieve “Academic Success of All.”