Program: Teacher Preparation
April Zawlocki changed her major several times in college before deciding to become a middle school teacher.
“I knew I had found my place when I started observing in schools and working with students,” she said. “I love teaching, but I also love learning, which is why I love being an educator. Working with students and seeing their love of learning inspires me to continue to work hard to ensure their success. Every day that I teach is a day that I learn something, whether that is from a student, a situation or from a colleague.”
Zawlocki was a high school Title One English teacher in central Illinois, then taught for five years as a middle school English Language Arts and History teacher for Indian Prairie School District 204. Now she is preparing new generations of educators in College of DuPage’s Teacher Preparation program.
“I love working collaboratively with future educators and look forward to calling them my colleagues,” she said. “I hope that my students leave my class understanding that the role of the teacher is to support students.”
Zawlocki finds inspiration from several people, including her husband, who is a middle school Career and Technical Education teacher; Dr. Tom Guskey, a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky; and Rick Wormeli, an international education expert on assessment. All three inspire her to learn more about best practices for teaching and learning.
“While the content of my classes is important, there is nothing more critical than a teacher’s relationship with their students,” she said. “If I can inspire future educators to invest in their students and to create a culture of learning, then I will have done my job.”