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Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Michah K.

“A good teacher is like a candle – It consumes itself to light the way for others.”  – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

“Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students.”  – Charles Kuralt

Ms. Finegan plays a passageWhat do these quotes have in common?  They talk about what makes a great teacher.  This month, each Junior Journalist was tasked with finding a staff member who we felt fulfilled the District 54 promise of “Ensuring Student Success.”  I chose the upbeat, energetic Ms. Finegan, the orchestra teacher. Not only does she fit the quotes above, she always greets her first period class with a smile and can wake up and cheer up any student.

“She makes an effort to connect with her students, she knows how to balance discipline and a connection with the students, and she also knows how to teach effectively,” noted one of her eighth-grade students.

Ms. Finegan is always optimistic. Her ecstatic attitude is infectious and her students can’t help but be happy and play along (pun intended).

Ms. Finegan also knows how to help her students learn the songs and concepts.

“She is very kind to her students and she does not give up on them,” said Nick C., another of Ms. Finegan’s students.

Students play their orchestra instrumentsShe also teaches the fifth- and sixth-graders after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She always lets students help out by tuning instruments or taking attendance.  The students love to do it and Ms. Finegan loves the help.

Ms. Finegan loves the improvement that students are making.  She said she sees the most improvement in student’s “ability in reading the rhythms in the music and in playing with correct posture and musicality. The dynamic contrast has improved so much since the beginning of the year!”

She also loves to work through the tough spots on songs because in the end it sounds so much better. After each class period, each student leaves feeling stronger and more knowledgeable about the songs they are playing, their instruments and their own musical talents.

Ms. Finegan is an amazing teacher, and I wish that all Addams students could get the chance to learn from her.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their March article we asked our Junior Journalists to write about a staff member who is fulfilling the 54 Promise.