Teacher of the Week: Susan Drake

Teacher of the Week: Susan Drake

Meet SUSAN DRAKE, a fourth-grade teacher at Salt Fork North Elementary in Catlin. Each day, Drake gives her students a riddle, question or fact of the day.

“It’s fun to watch young minds develop throughout the year and learn to grasp riddles and further research the question or fact of the day,” she says.

Here’s more.

What I enjoy most about the age group I teach is ... they have an enthusiasm for learning, they are independent and they grow and change so much throughout the school year. We create a time capsule at the beginning of the year, and it is so fun to open it up on the last day of school and measure our growth in different areas — including height.

One of my favorite teachers growing up was ... Mrs. Meyer, my third grade teacher. She made every child in her class feel welcome and important. I try to model myself after her philosophy.

Favorite tactic for getting students to pay attention ... I ring a call bell. (My 8-year-old grandson gave me the idea.)

Teaching supply I can't live without ... my SMARTBoard/computer.

Funniest question a student ever asked ... I taught preschool for six years, and that is where many humorous questions surfaced. One of my favorites: How we can say the pledge to the flag if we are invisible?

Favorite pastime (other than grading, of course) ... I love spending time with my family, playing with my grandchildren, word games, watching movies and spending time with my friends.

Topic/subject I enjoy teaching the most ... mathematics/social studies

Social-media platform I use the most ... I try to avoid social media.

The last book/movie/concert I enjoyed ... The last good book I read was "Devil in the White City." I enjoyed the Chicago history that came to life. The last good movie I saw was the live-actor version of "Cinderella." And the last concert I attended was Peter Frampton's Acoustic Tour at the Virginia Theater in Champaign.

Relaxing summer activity I miss the most ... Riding my bicycle

My favorite school lunch as a student and now ... Grilled cheese and tomato soup

What's your classroom pet peeve? When personal pencil sharpeners fall on the floor and all the shavings go everywhere while we are engaged in learning.

The best day of the week ... Fri-YAY

One item on my bucket list ... I would love to take a trip around the United States in a motor home, and visit many national parks and landmarks. I would then like to stop and settle on the beach for a few months.

If I weren't a teacher, I would be ... Working another social-service job. I enjoy working with people.

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