In the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, Whittier Elementary School pupils got the chance Wednesday to “dress like a teacher.”
At the same time, the students gained insight about what it means to be a teacher and the values inherent in the profession, according to Whittier Principal Jolene Schneider.
Fourth-grader Sarayah Cordell dressed very pretty for the occasion. “I like being fancy,” she said, adding her hope is someday to teach math, science and social studies.
She was pleased fellow Whittier pupils caught on immediately by recognizing she was indeed dressed as a teacher.
Fourth-grader Payton Zakutansky’s model was an actual teacher — his father, who teaches physics at Gateway Technical College. However, students mistook his oversized white lab coat inscribed with “Dr. Zakutansky” as that of a chemist.
Unlike Sarayah, Payton does not aspire to become a teacher someday. His youthful aspiration? To become a hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks.
On the other hand, fourth-grader Ethan Noel donned a suit and tie to portray a principal. Alas, according to Ethan, his classmates thought he was an attorney.
Just how much teachers can mean to students was evident when Schneider asked the fourth-graders about their teacher, Kathryn Prozanski.
“What’s the best thing about Mrs. Prozanski?” she said.
“That she cares about her students,” Sarayah said.
“That she has a lot of patience,” Ethan said.
Added Payton, “She likes us a lot.”
Fifth-grader Ciara Hernandez also came to school all dressed up. “The regular teachers dress kind of fancy,” Ciara said.
Classmate Keymon Lee chose a button-down black shirt over tan khakis, mimicking outfits often worn by his teacher Matt Dahl.
Like a lot of the boys, fifth-grader Abraham Celis dressed down for the occasion, in the perceived style of a physical education teacher. “Gym teachers always dress kind of sporty,” he said, smiling brightly.
Across the Kenosha Unified School District, schools, students, administrators and parent groups have been celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week in a variety of ways.
Earlier in the week, Schneider showed her staff a YouTube video by Jubilee titled “A World Without Teachers” that triggered strong emotions among the staff, she said.
“Your impact is not just in your classroom here at Whittier,” Schneider told them.