I am so honored to be Bateman’s March teacher of the month. Even more so, I am so lucky to work with such incredible students year after year! This is my third year teaching First Grade at Bateman and it has been as exciting and full of joy as I always imagined.
I was born into a military family and lived in California, Maryland, and Illinois prior to college. Despite the relocations my passion for education, love for soccer, and family were always with me. Eventually I was recruited to play soccer for Loyola where my younger sister soon joined me. I discovered a love for working with kids through coaching.
At Loyola, I pursued my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Endorsement in teaching English as a second language. Along the way, I was fortunate to study abroad in Spain where I began my journey towards Spanish proficiency. Despite that wonderful experience, the greatest thing that came from my time at Loyola was the opportunity to student-teach right here at Bateman!
In the classroom, I am passionate about teamwork, the sciences, and using technology to support learning. I also teach a morning reading program and love volunteering for our amazing Booster events! Outside of the classroom, I enjoy Cubs games, practicing my Spanish, and walking my puppy, Maggie.
I am so excited to be recognized as Bateman Elementary’s February Teacher of the Month. I have had the pleasure of being a teacher of diverse learners at Bateman for the past three years. I love teaching at Bateman, and I love the Bateman students who continue to motivate me to be a better teacher each day.
Through my time at Bateman, I have developed a great passion for teaching reading. My passion has motivated me to pursue a certification in the Wilson Reading System, which is a multi-sensory, research based, intensive reading intervention. After a year of study and practice, I am now a qualified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner, and I am so grateful that Bateman afforded me this opportunity. It is great to be able to apply what I have learned each day to help my students improve their reading ability.
Prior to teaching at Bateman Elementary, I taught in both New York and New Jersey public schools since 2008. In 2014, I received a Master of Science in Teaching for Special Education from Fordham University. However, I am certified in both general education and special education.
Since I joined the Bateman Family, my life has changed quite a bit. I have gotten married, and we moved into our first home. In my free time, I listen to audiobooks, cook, and spend time with my husband.
I am so honored to be nominated for Bateman’s Teacher of the Month. Bateman has been my home for all of my 18 years in teaching. In those years, it has been my pleasure to have taught Kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. I have seen students grow, graduate, and return to visit as adults. It has been incredibly rewarding to see our students evolve and our school flourish.
Like many, I went through a few college majors before choosing education. I realized that all my volunteer work was in education. I tutored juvenile inmates working toward their GED; I coached writing for high school students; and I taught water skills at my local Chicago Park District. It was clear that education has always been my calling.
I found my family here at Bateman and they have been with me through my life milestones. I wed my best friend and became a mother of three. Brooke is 11 years old, Reese is 8, and Dylan is 6. All of my children attend a CPS school. I am a proud public school teacher and believe in public education.
I am so honored to be chosen for Bateman's December Teacher of the Month! This is my 3rd year at Bateman and I love how the community really makes me feel like part of the family. I grew up in Southern Illinois and went to school for Elementary Education and Special Education. I knew in high school that I wanted to be a teacher and work with students who had unique challenges when it comes to learning. I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students at my first teaching job in Arizona and fell in love with teaching older students. After my husband and I moved back to Chicago, I searched far and wide for the perfect school and found Bateman. I started Bateman teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in a variety of subjects. I continue to love working with middle school and this year I am able to spend most of my time teaching Math (My favorite!).
I love working with all kinds of students and creating engaging activities that are accessible for all of our students. I am also currently working on getting my English as a Second Language endorsement from Northeastern University. When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, friends, family, and our three cats. I also love being outside, playing board games, and the occasional puzzle.
I am honored to be nominated as November's Teacher of the Month. I have never wanted to be anything other than a teacher, and it is a privilege to do so at Bateman School. I was inspired to be a teacher by my grandmother and two of my aunts who were teachers, as well as several special teachers that made a difference in my life.
I grew up in rural, central Illinois and graduated from both Lincoln Christian College and the University of Illinois in Springfield. I completed my graduate studies in bilingual and bi-cultural education at Chicago State University. This is my 13th year teaching at Bateman Elementary School and my 14th year teaching. I taught in a 3rd grade classroom for 11 years, and this is my 3rd year teaching 1st grade. I love working with English language learners, as well as learning new languages. I speak English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole, and I hope to begin learning French soon!
Over the years, it has been my pleasure to coach volleyball and softball, lead the ballroom dance team, and teach in a variety of after school programs. I truly enjoy being a part of the Bateman community.
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially my husband and two children, ages 4 years and 20 months.
I was born and raised on the west-side of Chicago and was the youngest of four. I attended Siena High School and received my bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University awhile receiving my Master's Degree from Northern Illinois University .
I have been an educator for 38 years. I taught Adult Continuing Education for 6 years at Olive Harvey and Kennedy King College.
I have taught here at Bateman for 31 years and have had the esteemed pleasure of teaching grades: 1st, 4th (gifted), 5th, 6th, presently 7th grade.
Throughout my years here at Bateman, I have had the opportunity to accomplish the following:
· I was the cheerleading coach for approx. 5 years.
·I have had the opportunity to promote literacy, by allowing the 4th grade students to pretend to have a pseudo camping trip in the auditorium. (2001-2013).This annual event was featured in the CPS Newsletter.
·Started the annual 4th grade Entrepreneur Business Fair. (2001-2013).
· I was the Music Director for the 8th graduation for 3 years.
· I started the Bateman Theatrical Dance Ensemble; students would perform in 3-4 assemblies, along with one spring show in the evening. (2001-2013).
· I was nominated the DRIVE Award, by my colleagues
In 2001, my only child died. He was a victim of gun-violence. He was 20 years of age. God has blessed me throughout my entire teaching career, allowing me to make an impact on the lives of many other children. I have had the honor of coming in contact with over 30,000+ kids and young adults to help fill that void of my loss. I have strived to instill within them that they, too, are lifelong learners and can be successful in their future endeavors.
It saddens me think that this will be my last year here at Bateman. You will truly be missed!!!
I am so honored to be named “Teacher of the Month”. I truly enjoy teaching at Bateman, as I have been here for 25 years. In fact, I am now teaching children of former students. Early Childhood has always been my passion, as I started working in a preschool while I was still in high school. I have always loved being a part of a child’s first experience with school and watching how they grow and learn to love school.
I grew up in Los Angeles, California and moved to Chicago during college. I attended University of Illinois, Chicago for my BA in Education and then National Louis for a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and recently got an ESL endorsement. I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade and been in the Preschool Program for the last 18 years.
At home, I have two daughters. My oldest is 21 and studying Psychology at Arizona State University. My younger daughter is a senior in High School and is looking to study Musical Theatre in New York next year.
When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time outside. I love to walk, travel, see movies and go to the Theatre. I also volunteer my time on the Theatre Board at my daughter’s High School.
I’m so excited and honored to be Bateman Teacher of the Month!
My family came to America from India in the 60s and my parents instilled in my brother and me the importance of a strong education! Not only is it important to do your best in school but it is just as important to be thoughtful and kind!
I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Northeastern, a Doctorate Degree from Northwestern, and a Master’s from National Louis. I was a dentist in Chicago for 12 years before I became a teacher. It was a career I loved but my priorities changed after my daughter was born. Becoming a mom made me realize even more how I should be involved with our educational system and share the love and importance of science and taking care of our world.
My life experience has given me the opportunity to work with amazing colleagues, patients, and students. I have been teaching biology for 14 years in Chicago Public Schools and currently I teach 7th Grade science, work with our English language learners, and co-teach an after school Newsletter club!
In my free time I love being with my daughter and husband, traveling, eating great food, spending time in Florida with my parents, and relaxing with friends.
I love tennis, basketball, and rescuing animals!
Every day my students inspire and remind me to continue doing what I love!
Mrs. Valkanas has been a teacher at Bateman for over 20 years. She is a mother of three children who are CPS alumni. Mrs. Valkanas LOVES science and her goal is to get her students to love science as well.
As a teacher, Mrs. Valkanas has had many accomplishments. She started the Gifted Program at Bateman with 5/6 grade Gifted Science. She has worked with NASA to develop science curriculum to benefit all grade levels. She has been a presenter at the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) conference and CPS schools. She lobbied in Springfield on several occasions for funding to support science education.
Mrs. Valkanas’ student’s work has been featured in museums including the Peggy Notebaert Museum and the Adler Planetarium where kids participated in the Mars Millennium Project. For the Project, students built a model of the first colony on Mars. In addition, for participating in the Mars Millennium Project, her students’ names were sent on a spaceship that landed on Mars.
She organized Bateman’s 1st Star Party where Bateman students were the first ever to remotely control telescopes at the Yerkes Observatory in William’s Bay, Wisconsin. William’s Bay newspaper wrote about Bateman and this inspired a local reader to donate a 2nd telescope to the observatory.
In 2008, she became a fellow of Project Exploration at the University of Chicago and worked with Dr. Paul Sereno digging up a 65,000,000 year old Hadrosaur. Currently, Mrs. Valkanas is involved in a STEM project at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
She has served Bateman in many capacities. Every spring you can see the many tulips and daffodils she planted with every student in the school. She served as a teacher representative on the LSC for over 6 years. She was part of the Beautification Committee. She has also been a member of the PTA, Wellness Committee, and has been a core member of the Science Committee. She has coordinated the annual Bateman Science Fair for 20 years. For the last 4 years, she sponsored the You Be The Chemist (YBTC) after school program. This past February, the students of the YBTC program placed 3rd in the competition held at North Park University. In the spring Mrs. Valkanas directs the annual Bateman Talent Show, showcasing all the talented students of Bateman. With all the many interesting things she’ has done, Mrs. Valkanas’ heart is with Bateman.
Teacher Of The Month