Teacher Name: Mrs. Katie Slou
Grade/Subject: 7th Grade Intensive Huntley Middle School
Tell us a little about yourself – your hometown, education, hobbies!
I am from Indianapolis Indiana and moved to Illinois with my husband 15 years ago! I have my undergrad in elementary education and my masters in special education. I have two very busy boys Logan who is 11 and is an ice hockey goalie and Brodie who is 8 is an offensive lineman, wrestler and crossfitter. Our “free” time is spent watching them do what they love to do. I also enjoy crossfit, reading and knitting. My favorite things in the world are being with my family and making connections with my students.
What do you love about teaching for District 428?
I have been so lucky to work with some great administrators who have been supportive and innovative in their ideas about students and their needs. This year I have had the amazing opportunity to work at the Middle School level and be a part of a team which has been collaborative and supportive. I also have a partner teacher Karissa Foelske who is one of the hardest working people I know. It is so exciting to plan and share ideas to push our students and motivate them to achieve all that they are capable of. I think that we as a district are student centered and always looking at how we can improve to meet the unique needs of our diverse student population. Every day is an adventure and we are equipped for the challenges and successes that every day brings.
How do you uniquely engage your students to embrace what you’re teaching and generate excitement for learning?
The introduction of the Chromebooks this year has added a layer of excitement for not only the students but the teachers as well. It is allowing us to take our teaching to a whole new level. Our students are able to create and share things with each other and us quickly and effortlessly using Google Classroom. My students are using Kidblogs to write as if they were a part of history and also do share about their successes and to set goals. The thing that we are finding in special education is that we have a whole new world of tools at our disposal that will support our struggling readers through programs where we can create tests that will read the questions to them and vocabulary programs that will allow students to master their vocab words in a fun and interactive way. We also make sure that we get our kids involved in our community by volunteering at Barb Food Mart. It is important to Karissa and me that the kids understand the importance of giving back and supporting the community.
What is the #1 reason why you are proud to be a teacher in DeKalb Schools?
The number one reason I am proud to be a teacher in DeKalb Schools is hands down the students that I get to share my day with!
What piece of advice would you give your students as they grow beyond DeKalb High School?
I always tell my students and my own children that there will ALWAYS be someone who is smarter than you or who has things come easier to them. But the one thing that you can control is how hard you work. If you make sure that no one out works you ever, you will be a great success in whatever you do. I would also tell them to make sure to take care of the community that took such great care of you. DeKalb Education Foundation is a great place to donate once you are financially settled. Also look for ways to support the community Barb Food Mart which is right in Huntley Middle School and serves so many. You don’t have to have one dime to give your time.