Miranda Thompson

Miranda Thompson of Machesney Park has 14 years of teaching experience, having taught classes from K through fifth grade in Illinois and Florida. She’s in her ninth year of teaching Kindergarten at Machesney Park’s Donald C. Parker Center. She says, “teaching is not something you can ‘turn off’ on the weekends. When I come home from school, I am thinking about whether a student remembered to bring snow boots home or whether a lost tooth made it home safely for the tooth fairy.” This kind of thoughtfulness is just one reason students in her classroom feel so safe and welcome with her. The positive relationships and environment Miranda builds allows her students to make more growth in all areas. Miranda uses her experience as a mother of three, input from peers and students’ families, as well as regular monitoring and data reviews to customize lessons for students working below grade level expectations and for those who are performing at higher levels. She makes sure each child knows she truly believes in them and their ability to achieve their goals. Miranda imparts that differences are what make each of us special. Diversity is both embraced and loved in her classroom. She says, “The students have shown such patience, kindness and warmth to one another, regardless of their socio-economic status or backgrounds. I have three students with autism who are a part of the classroom during special times each day, and when it is time for them to return to their homeroom, they are flooded with hugs and goodbyes.” Because her students learn in different ways, Miranda offers several options for learning: through technology such as smartboards and Chromebooks; through music; through writing, reading and art; and “through small groups which allow for differentiation among each group.” Classroom facilitator, Paige Yeoman who submitted a nomination for Miranda says, “She truly makes each child feel special and loved in her classroom. Her dedication shows.” Working with Miranda and seeing her love of teaching led Paige to change her major from nursing to education. Miranda writes that she loves what she does and cares about the success of all the students in the school, not just the ones in her classroom. She added, “The kids are the reason I have gained such a passion for this career. Each day is a new adventure, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.”