My Why - Katie Gore, Kindergarten Teacher

January 25, 2023

Topic: My Why

Kilmer teacher Katie Gore learned a lot from her parents. “My dad worked in sales but didn’t really care for his job. It was a way to make a living and support the family,” Katie says. “My mom was a math teacher at Wheeling H.S. for over 30 years and LOVED her job. In fact, she had a passion for it.” As a young girl, Katie watched as her mom’s love for teaching made an incredible impact on her and the students she taught. It wasn’t just a job for Katie’s mother…it was a calling. Katie wanted the same thing. She wanted a profession that didn’t feel like a job at all… a job that was inspirational and transformational.

And so when it was time to decide what to study in college, Katie followed in her mother’s footsteps. She received her bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in curriculum instruction with an ELS endorsement at University of Illinois. She’s been with District 21 for almost 20 years; 13 at Poe and six at Kilmer, teaching kindergarten. “I think the most important job I have is to encourage the students to love school. It’s the first experience for many and I want them to look forward to school every single day. There is so much growth during the kindergarten years; it’s a joy to watch them develop,” said Katie.

Katie makes her classroom fun and interactive which allows students to absorb information in unique ways. The students feel like they are playing instead of recognizing they are learning. Many times, she incorporates movement, poetry, songs and other activities into the lessons. “I loved school and there were many teachers that stuck out and supported me through difficult times. I want to be the kind of teacher that I had and the quality instructor that I would want my own children to have,” says Katie.

Katie’s own joy comes from working at our wonderful district that welcomes staff and fosters close relationships. “It’s also a place that allows for innovation and provides a safe environment to fail, if need be,” says Katie. For the students in Katie’s class, she is never a failure.