By Devon Bonelli
Mrs. Winters is TCP’s premier math teacher for Algebra II, Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry, and College Algebra. She is constantly students’ favorite because of her, “smiling and the feeling that she is there to help,” as Amanda Bertsch has said. She absolutely loves teaching, especially Algebra and Trigonometry.
Teaching always influences teachers’ lives, and Mrs. Winters is no exception. She said that it has “allowed me to be with my family, which is always a bonus!” When her kids were younger, her teaching background gave her the freedom to stay home and tutor. “I had a very active tutoring business for a good five years here in the Quad-City Area,” she said. Additionally, she commented that it “keeps me young! It keeps me in touch with this generation of kids, and I really enjoy being around young people.”
“Math is one of those subjects where the content doesn’t change, but I think you need to [put] the cookies on all the shelves,” She explains. “In my math classes, I have students where this is a student’s thing, and I also have students where it’s a struggle, especially upper-level math. I really try to explain things in a multitude of ways.”
Mrs. Winters also said, “I have been challenged to add more application in all areas. I typically put more emphasis on application in upper-level college classes. […] However, I think we need to bring that in at the high school level.”
“If people can see a reason to learn, other than ‘I need a good grade,’ they are more apt to not only learn it, but also remember it. If I am going to change anything, it will probably be [focusing on application] because I always look for something to change year-to-year,” Mrs. Winter’s added.
When asked about the new PARCC tests, Mrs. Winters said, “They want to see what’s in your head on paper. I don’t think it has changed much in TCP’s expectations, but I can’t speak for others schools. It is really important for us teachers to be able to reach each student with these explanations.”
“Mrs. Winters is a fantastic teacher who adjusts her style of teaching to what each of her students understands best. She is willing to spend additional time and effort researching concepts so she can fully explain them to her students, even when it isn’t critical to the lesson. She is truly a phenomenal teacher,” added Taylor Whittemore, a junior in her Pre-Calculus class.
Remember: Teacher Appreciation is this week! Tell your teachers that you appreciate all that they work for, and all they help they give you. It lasts from May 5th through the 8th.