Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Carol Juckem, was chosen Green Bay Channel 5 WFRV-TV “Terrific Teacher” for the month of February. Parents and Sister Mary Lee Schommer, principal of St. Peter the Fisherman School, Two Rivers, WI, nominated Sister Carol for her enthusiasm in directing the school’s classroom music, as well as band students. Please watch Erin Davisson’s report live on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6 p.m. or view the footage on this website after that date. http://www.wfrv.com/content/news/teachers/default.aspx
Sister Carol reflects:When I first heard that I was chosen for “Terrific Teacher” for the month of February my first thought was: How blest I am to have such supportive parents and school staff. Their letters of appreciation and support are not just for this one occasion, but have been with me throughout the 3 years I have been here at St. Peter the Fisherman. No wonder we have such a wonderful school.
Next I thought of the children. What an awesome responsibility is ours as teachers! We get to meet children every day, encourage them to be their best selves. We help them not only discover the many facets of learning, but also help them unfold their talents, their strengths and help point them to their future.
How delightful it is to see the sparkle in the eyes of children as they put the pieces together of what they are learning and discover new knowledge on their own. I have seen music, the subject I teach, turn a hesitant, reserved student into an enthusiastic, confident individual. I enjoy being a part of God’s creation, of the Lord’s work among His children. It has not only kept me young in spirit, but also has grown me as an individual in learning to be an encourager, learning to relate to many types of personalities. I love every one of them.
Teachers always have stories to tell because children see life in fresh, uncluttered ways, and they let us, who teach them, get a glimpse of their viewpoint. They are constantly teaching me to see differently.
I am truly humbled, because I don’t concentrate on whether I’m a terrific teacher or not. My focus is on doing my best for the good of the children and being there for them. I want them to have a great experience of learning music. I want them to have fun, yes, but to also learn a lot in the process.
The social aspect of music is so huge. Singing is very personal. It’s part of you, of who you are. There is such a delicate balance between encouraging participation and helping students improve and capitalize on whatever talent they have.
I strive to take the students where they are to where they can be. It’s an exciting adventure. Playing an instrument with a group creates a new bond among the students. You can learn a lot about someone by how they play: passionate, tired, quiet, daring, confident. . . Playing in a group brings cooperation and team work to a new level. Everyone has their part to play, yes, but how your part fits into the whole is so essential. The volume of your part, the give and take of several tunes, “backing off” and “stepping forward” with your tune, isn’t this all part of the dynamics of life? If we can learn it well in the band room, maybe we can transfer it into the many other places we interact in our lives.
I know we have many “Terrific Teachers” in this school. We just need to take the time to notice and applaud them. I am thankful to all the parents and staff who did so for me. I thank my Sisters, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, who educated me and supported me throughout my learning years. I am also grateful to my family who first gave me a love of the Lord and for music. In my heart these two go hand in hand as I teach every child.