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About the Teacher




Mrs. Cindy Steele


     I was raised on a farm near Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks.  I am the oldest in our family which consisted of four girls and one boy.  I was very fortunate to have two of the greatest parents in the world.  They loved each of their children dearly and loved to help and enjoy the company of others.  Education for their children was very important to them. 


     I attended Deer Park Consolidated School from first through eighth grade.  I really enjoyed my teachers, Miss Moore, Mrs. Hylin, Mrs. Stevenson, Mr. Baton and Mr. Schaive.  Deer Park was a community grade school with strong values and a great emphasis was placed on academics.


     A great influence in my life was my great aunt, Mattie Harn, who taught for fifty years. (Do you think I’ll make it?  I have in over thirty already!)

She loved her students and the subject English which she taught.  She spent many evenings at our home grading papers and was always writing encouraging remarks to her students.


      I received my Bachelors and Masters degree in teaching from Illinois State University.  I also have my Early Childhood Certificate from Illinois State University. 


     I am happily married and live in Granville, Illinois.  Bob and I have two children, Matthew and Natasha.  Both are graduates of Holy Family Grade School, St. Bede Academy, and the University of Illinois.  Matthew lives in Chicago and has received his Masters degree in Library Science at Dominican College.  He is  a research librarian at Prairie State College in Chicago.  Natasha graduated from Valparaiso Law School in Indiana this year.  She has finished her Masters in Psychology, a Juris Doctorate in Law, has passed the Bar Exam for the State of Illinois and is now working in Peoria for a law firm.


     I love teaching!  When I am not doing that, I enjoy traveling in the United States and abroad. I also enjoy reading, surfing the web, walking, cooking, river rafting and gardening and having fun with family and friends.  


 My Philosophy



    My professional goal is to provide a positive child centered environment where children will learn how to become independent thinkers, readers, and writers and will learn how to develop a lifelong love for learning.


     In the classroom, I believe it is my role, as teacher, to be the guider of learning.  It is important to provide an environment where children are open and free to learn and it’s my objective to stimulate, enrich, direct and participate in the learning that takes place.  As the teacher, I am a model of acceptable behavior and learning.  It is my role to help my students understand situations they encounter so that they may solve their problems.


     In the classroom, play is an essential part of our learning.  I try to integrate several units of study using a constructivism approach to learning where the children construct their knowledge through active learning and exploration.  Within each unit of study, I provide a variety of activities which will encourage the development of the needs of the “whole child.”  Some of the activities are teacher directed and some give the children time explore and work freely on their own.  Such activities include stories, theme based centers, reading readiness activities, critical thinking activities, science activities, kinesthetic and visual activities, number development activities, songs and finger plays, fine and gross motor activities, auditory activities, computer activities, creative art activities, character development, cooperative learning activities, physical development activities and social play. 

    I balance age-appropriate activities by promoting individual activities involving small and large group activities; using positive guidance techniques; using a variety of teaching strategies to adapt to difference in learning styles and multi-intelligences; encouraging differentiated learning using a variety of media and equipment; designing activities for practice and advancement to higher levels of thinking; promoting creativity; allowing varied playtimes (quiet vs. noisy); implementing brain based activities, developing listening skills as well as communication skills; and planning smooth transitions between activities.




Favorite Teaching Quotes




“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world.”  Albert Einstein


“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”  B.B. King


“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”



“The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires.”

William Ward


“One can succeed at almost anything for which he has enthusiasm.”  Charles schwab


“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart.”  Helen Keller


The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think.”  James Beattie


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  W. B. Yeats


We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.”  Ben  Sweetland


Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”  Zelda Fitzgerald, Unknown, Unknown