Teacher Tuesday: MCE’s Amie Inabinet.

September 22, 2020

Amie Inabinet

Teacher Tuesday: MCE’s Amie Inabinet.

Teacher Tuesday is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, www.shelbystatebank.com.

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

CUSTER – Some may think teaching at a very small, rural school wouldn’t be that appealing, but they would be wrong, said Mason County Eastern teacher Amie Inabinet who coes from a large, Chicago suburb.

“Growing up in a suburb of Chicago and attending college in Milwaukee, I am a city girl at heart,” she said. “So how did I end up finding so much joy in this small rural community? The answer is simple, we are a small family. Like family, we are not perfect, but we love and accept each other for who we are. I am blessed to work with caring families, the hardest working colleagues, and a loving community. Once a stranger in a strange land, I am home, and I am proud to be a part of this small but mighty community.”

Inabinet has been in education for 14 years and loves working with all different age groups of students. A 1998 graduate of Tinley Park High School, in Tinley Park, Ill., Inabinet attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor of arts in communications and writing intensive English. She then attended Lewis University, Romeoville, Ill. and graduated in 2005 with a master’s of arts in elementary education

“I started my career at an elementary school in Homer Glen, Ill. called Goodings Grove,” she said. “This is where I did my student teaching in third grade and was hired to teach fourth grade. I taught there for two years. I left when I married my husband, Chad, and together, we relocated to Mason County for a new job opportunity he accepted at West Shore Community College.

“I then subbed at various schools in the area and worked as a paraprofessional at Mason County Central for a year. In 2010, when I was newly expecting our first son, I was hired at Mason County Eastern to teach third grade. I have been at MCE for the past 10 years. I taught third grade for the majority of those years. A few years ago, we created a ‘hybrid’ rotation of classes for our upper elementary students. For the first two years of this rotation, I taught third, fourth and fifth grade social studies. Last year, I taught third, fourth and fifth grade writing. This year I am the fourth and fifth grade ELA (English language arts: reading, writing, and language) teacher.”

Out of everything that comes with being a teacher, Inabinet said she really enjoys creating relationships with her students and watching them grow in so many different ways.

“My absolute favorite thing about working in education are my students,” she said. “I strive to create a community of learners where all feel loved, respected, and welcome. Building relationships is very important when working with kids.

“One of my favorite things about my current position is that I get to teach my students for three years before sending them off to middle school. We have time to form a bond. By the third year, we know each other pretty well. They know the expectations when they walk through the door and we can pick up right where we left off. I encourage high expectations in the classroom and challenge my students to have ownership in their own learning. Seeing the joy on their faces when they push themselves to achieve their goals is what keeps me coming to work each day. We all come together with different stories and backgrounds and must work together to bring out the best in each of us.”

Even with all the great things that come with teaching, Inabinet said there are still a lot of misconceptions the general public has about teachers.

“One of the greatest misconceptions is that teachers get the summer off,” she said. “While our contracts only cover the academic year, many summer weeks are spent reflecting, learning, preparing, organizing, and implementing new ideas, curriculum, and initiatives for the upcoming school year.”

Along with all the planning that goes into teaching, Inabinet said it shouldn’t be a deterrent for anyone looking to pursue education as a career.

“The advice I have for students interested in entering the field of education is you have to be flexible and hard working,” she said. “Things in education are always changing and you have to be willing and capable to make the necessary changes to support your students. You have to come in with plan A, but be ready with plan B, C, or really to abort all plans and roll with the punches.”

As COVID-19 has affected teachers and the overall look of education nationwide, Inabinet said MCE is one of many schools that have taken on new roles to help accommodate students in a different learning capacity.

 

“Taking our current situation into consideration, many of us are learning how to do our jobs all over again in new ways,” she said. “We are working with new technology, face to face students and remote, wiping down tables, desks, and surfaces, creating video lessons and more, all while wearing a smile hidden behind a mask. I have to admit, I was nervous about returning to the classroom for face to face instruction. Uncertain about how different things would feel. Within minutes of being back among my students, this uncertainty faded. I had missed them so much and being back together felt natural. Together we will overcome the obstacles we face.”

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