The people I work with, the community and supporters; their dedication and motivation is humbling

Once I finished school, I knew it would be hard to get a job and figured I would be a server and subbing for another year or so. I applied everywhere, and for any job I was remotely qualified for. I went on a few interviews, but nothing really fit.

Then I heard from North Chicago. On the day of my interview, my sitter canceled. So I brought my daughter to the interview. At this point, I was thinking this interview could only be chalked up to practice for me, because there was no way I was getting hired. Much to my surprise I got hired.  I was scared to death! People kept telling me “You don’t want to start off in North Chicago.” I heard “You must have drawn the short end of the stick,” or “Do only one year there then go to a “better” district.” None of these thoughts ever crossed my mind. I was just scared because I was a new teacher, leaving a job I had for 12 years, where I had co-workers who were family not because of where I was going!

Since that first year, there’s not been a time where I’ve felt unsupported or that I do not have a “family” here. The people I work with, the community and supporters; their dedication and motivation is humbling. Then there are the students. I have such a close connection with them, I feel as if they are my own. Daily I see their faces, I see their desire to learn, and mostly I see change in them.  Change in the right direction for themselves, their families, and their community. I know what we are doing, where I see my students going, keeps me coming back every day.  With my “short end of the stick” in hand… I’m showing the outside world what d187 is really about, family!

-Janelle Buttera

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