I am honored to be recognized as Teacher of the Month. Teaching has always been my passion. At a young age, my parents purchased school desks and school supplies from a garage sale so I could create a classroom in our basement. When my friends came over to play school, I was normally the teacher. My younger sister, Lainie, was a frequent "student" in my "classroom."
My path to teaching has been non-traditional. I received my undergraduate degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. While I was applying to graduate schools, I worked as a paraprofessional in Boston Public Schools. I was placed in a classroom with woman who had been teaching for over thirty years. On a daily basis, I was inspired by her passion for the profession and how she continued to engage the students in their learning no matter the activity.
In the fall of 2009, I began to pursue my graduate degree in Learning Disabilities at Northwestern University. I was fortunate to have studied under professors who were experts in this subject matter. During my time at Northwestern, I worked on clinical academic testing, clinical remediation, and completed my student teaching on Chicago's south side.
I am now in my seventh year of teaching, and my first full school year at Bateman. I feel incredibly lucky to work in such a supportive, friendly, and welcoming environment. I continue to be impressed by the capacity of administration, teachers, and students.
Outside of teaching, I mentor an adventurous six year old as part of a big sib/little sib program. I am also a member of an advisory board for Diverse Learners. Above all, I love to travel and am always keeping my eye out for my next adventure!
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.
Meet Bateman Elementary's November Teacher of The Month, Mr. Warden.
The son of two teachers, Mr. Warden learned about the importance of education at a young age. While growing up in a southwest suburb of Chicago, he enjoyed being a student and knew he wanted to go on to college someday. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and decision and information sciences, respectively, from the University of Florida and spent a few years working as a computer programmer before changing careers to become a teacher. In 2006, Mr. Warden was accepted into the first cohort of the Chicago Teaching Fellows and soon was hired to teach computer classes at Bateman.
Currently a sixth grade math and social studies teacher, Mr. Warden continues to incorporate technology into many of his lessons. Students in his classroom regularly submit their assignments electronically using the Google Classroom, take online quizzes, and collaborate with each other using their Chromebooks. Occasionally, he is even able to teach computer programming concepts when students use Scratch to make online games and animations for math and social studies activities. In his free time, Mr. Warden enjoys traveling, exploring the city and cycling.
I was born and raised in Chicago where I attended DePaul University and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. I also attended Grand Canyon University. At Grand Canyon University I received a Masters in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages. In 2011, I became a National Board Certified Teacher. Prior to Bateman, I taught at Pilsen Academy. In Pilsen Academy, I taught first grade bilingual for five years. I was also the bilingual coordinator for two years.
Currently, I am the 4th grade bilingual/ ESL teacher at Bateman. I am also a member of the Bilingual Leadership Team and the Science Committee. Teaching has always been a passion for me. I feel that all children are different and require specific attention and affection for them to flourish. I will strive to be that for each of my students; an educator who loves each child that walks in her door and gives each of them not only an education, but also a passion to learn. Some of my favorite things to do is going to the movies, going for a run, and playing with my sister’s dachshunds, Snickers and Atari.
Yo Nací y crecí en Chicago, donde asistí a la Universidad DePaul y me gradué con una licenciatura en Educación. También asistí a la Universidad Grand Canyon. En la Universidad Grand Canyon recibí una Maestría en Enseñanza de Inglés para Estudiantes de Otros Idiomas. En 2011, me convertí en una maestra certificado por la Junta Nacional. Antes de Bateman, enseñé en la Academia Pilsen. En la Academia Pilsen enseñé primer grado bilingüe durante cinco años. También fui la coordinadora bilingüe durante dos años. Actualmente, soy la maestra bilingüe / ESL de cuarto grado en Bateman. Soy también un miembro del equipo de liderazgo bilingüe y el Comité de Ciencia.
La enseñanza siempre ha sido una pasión para mí. Siento que todos los niños son diferentes y requieren de atención y afecto específica para que puedan florecer. Yo me esforzaré por hacer eso por cada uno de mis alumnos; una educadora que ama a cada niño que camina en la puerta y da a cada uno de ellos no sólo una educación, sino también una pasión para aprender. Algunas de mis cosas favoritas para hacer es ir al cine, salir a correr y jugar con los perros salchichas de mi hermana, Snickers y Atari.
Please help us celebrate our September Teacher of the Month,
Teacher Of The Month