Teacher: ‘I am creative and effective’

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I applaud Catalyst for bringing attention to the incredibly supportive services of the ChicagoNewTeacherCenter. (“Coaches keep rookie teachers on track,” Catalyst Chicago, April 2008)


However, as the teacher whose classroom was observed, I do not agree with some of the words used to describe me. The article stated, “Stephanie Hansen, a new kindergarten teacher at Jensen Elementary, was having problems in her classroom. Getting 23 rambunctious youngsters to concentrate on their work was quite a feat, and Hansen admits she wasn’t doing it very well.”


As a professional, I felt that the Chicago New Teacher Center provided me with a colleague to bounce ideas off of.  I was not having “problems” in my classroom; the issue mentioned in the article was similar to my going to a friend for ideas as any professional does.  I never admitted that I wasn’t doing my job very well because I believe that I am a creative and effective teacher with five years of experience. 


In my opinion, the article portrayed me as a teacher who couldn’t succeed without the assistance of the Chicago New Teacher Center.  The ultimate goal of the Chicago New Teacher Center is to support and encourage teachers new to CPS. Their mentors are working hard to do this. 


Instead of being described as a teacher with “problems” I could have been described as a teacher who thrived as a result of the help and support of the Chicago New Teacher Center. 


Stephanie Hansen

Kindergarten teacher

Jensen Elementary