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The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

Lopez inspires students and future educators with her passion for her career

provided by Katie Lopez
Veteran teacher Mrs. Katie Lopez is very passionate about her teaching career-so much so that she takes her passion outside of Normal West to help aspiring educators at Illinois State University, as well.

Mrs. Katie Lopez is a prime example of a teacher who any student would want to have in class. She has a strong work ethic, an infectious teaching style, and admirable pride in her craft.

Growing up, Lopez has always been surrounded by teachers. Not only because of school but because her mom taught junior high. In high school, she had good history teachers who made her realize there is more to teaching and that she can teach whatever grade she wants.

Lopez is loved by many of her students, and senior Chrysdeja Turner explains how Lopez’s teaching style is helpful to students.

“Mrs Lopez is a strong teacher, she cares about her students and makes sure that they understand what they are learning. Although she is a pretty lenient teacher, she still has expectations that are to be met,” Turner remarks.

Not only has Lopez been teaching in Unit 5 for 12 years, but she is also a teacher at Illinois State University in the Teaching & Learning Department.

She takes her passion for teaching and shows students that there is more to teaching like her high school history teachers did. She teaches two different classes: The Teaching Profession in Secondary Schools and Principle & Practices for Teaching & Learning in Secondary School.

Lopez takes pride in teaching and showing college students the behind-the-scenes work. Instead of looking at it as they are a student, they have to look at it as they are the teacher. The students work with a teacher for a semester. They observe, help make lesson plans and gain knowledge to help them in their future career.

This previous October she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni at a special ceremony at Illinois State University.

Lopez is also a former varsity cheerleading coach at Normal Community High School. She coached for five years but had to step away due to having children because it is a huge commitment.

She believes that Covid had a huge impact on teaching as some teachers had a burnout, but she still loves teaching and believes there are a lot of benefits to choosing it as a career.

One noted highlight of the career is that teachers never work over holidays and they also get prolonged breaks, such as spring break or winter break.

To celebrate those much-needed breaks, Lopez traditionally leaves the parking lot on the final day before the break blaring one of her favorite songs, “Sweetness” by a band called Jimmy Eat World.

Another one of her favorite songs represents her mindset, which is “Don’t Stop Me Now” by the band Queen.

“The premise of the song is that you’re kind of like hitting your stride and sure you know you have to deal with stuff and there’s crummy things going on but you know what like I’m moving and I’m doing great and I’m proud of myself and don’t stop me now,” Lopez explains about how it fits her teaching mindset.

With all that being said, Katie Lopez is very content and happy with her career and loves having the opportunity to teach U.S history and AP Psychology at Normal West high school, along with teaching future teachers at Illinois State University.

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