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Eileen Alps

Eileen Alps

Name: Eileen Alps
School: Maternity B.V.M.
City: Chicago
State: Illinois
Grade(s): 4th
Subject(s): All! (reading/ELA, math, science, S.S., religion)

What quote inspires you?
“The days are long, but the years are short.” ~Gretchen Rubin, author
It reminds me that though the longs days may wear me out, the children I’m working with won’t be this little for long. (The “big, bad” eight graders are a testament to that!) We only have this one year together for me to make a positive impact on them.

What is your favorite color and why?
Red because I’ve been told by others that it’s “my color.”

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
I love my kidney table and colorful stools. It’s the perfect place to meet with small groups. For the longest time, I was “Macgyver-ing” two strange trapezoidal tables into a place to meet with students.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I am definitely known as a strict teacher, but I love to have fun with my students and inject a lot of humor into my teaching. With a background in science, I also strongly believe in an inquiry-based approach to learning.

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
When I was graduated from high school, my mom handed me a manila folder filled with old school work, awards, and report cards. In it, I found an essay from 2nd grade about wanting to become a teacher. Turns out there’s more to it than summers off and red marking pens. Who knew?

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
I have so much fun with our energy unit! We build tracks and race cars to learn about kinetic and potential energy. Students are SO engaged and take real ownership in their learning.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Differentiating has always been a real challenge for me. Meeting the needs of all learners, from those who struggle to those exceeding standards (and everyone in between), has sometimes proved difficult for me.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I think I might consider becoming a speech pathologist so that I could still work with students and help them grow to their fullest potential (excuse the cliché).

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
These guys ask A LOT of questions, and I’m so open with them, there’s not a lot they don’t know. I think many of them would be surprised to learn of the genuine love I feel for them.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
Surprisingly, it’s not how to solve for an unknown or how to write a good persuasive hook, but rather that I was so hard on them because I believed in them so fully.

What are your three favorite books?
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. The Great Gatsby
3. The Catcher in the Rye

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

coffee or tea

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch

faculty meeting or dentist (I actually like the dentist!)

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
“My job is fun, and I enjoy it.” ~ (paraphrased from Liz Craft, tv writer and producer)

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