TOW Schroeder

Math teacher Samantha Schroeder is shown in her classroom at Rantoul Township High School.

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During her time at Rantoul Township High, math teacher Samantha Schroeder has found a home teaching students of various abilities and learning styles in different ways.

"I get to make a difference in my students’ lives — not only teaching them math, but using naturally occurring conversations to teach them about life in general."

Here’s more from The News-Gazette’s 15th Teacher of the Week of the 2019-20 school year.

I became a teacher because ...… I tutored in high school multiple periods a day. I found that I was really good at coming up with multiple ways to explain something, if the first time didn’t work. I loved that “spark,” that “aha” moment. The look in someone’s eyes when they finally get it, that’s why I became a teacher.

I describe my teaching style as ... dependent on the class. I change my teaching style based on individual class period needs and individual student needs. Sometimes I am directly teaching, sometimes I am wandering around guiding students, and sometimes I am just a manager, letting them do what they need to do, but helping when needed.

My favorite/most unique lesson that I teach is …... My most unique class is pre-calculus. It is a mixed honors/regular class where students earn the extra honors distinction. The class is self-paced and has very little direct instruction. Each student learns at their own pace, takes assessments at their own pace and retakes at their own pace. I am simply there to help them on their journey.

My most fulfilling moment on the job was …... either every time someone tells me I am their favorite teacher or maybe when a student tells me they used to hate math, but now they finally understand it!

Something else I’m passionate about is ...… helping students in non-class ways. I have food in case students didn’t have any that day. I have feminine products for those emergencies that occur. I bring in scarves, hats and gloves. I like to help my students any way I can, not just with math.

My favorite teacher and subject to study in school was …... Mrs. Shafran at Niles West High School. She taught me geometry during freshman year; however, geometry was my least favorite math. I’m more of an algebra person.

If I weren’t a teacher, I would be ...… in some sort of nonprofit that helps provide food and necessities to kids in the area.

Know an exemplary teacher? Send your nomination to staff writer Anthony Zilis at