Sixth Grade

Jamian Knuth

In a most recent teaching position, I attended a conference called No Teacher Left Inside and the idea was presented that “The greatest endeavor that needs to be addressed to our students is the loss of connections between our kids and nature,” to further that idea, connections to the environment are critical for survival and it is time to teach people to question and interact as a community.  Moreover, the loss of community is a loss of environmental consciousness or basic human connections. To address this issue, I have taught all common core curricular goals in an attempt to create these needed connections. 

Consequently, I have implemented community based service learning projects with continued success.  Some recognition from these endeavors include “Teacher of the Year/Appreciation” from Barnes and Noble, four articles in the Racine Journal Times, the cover of the December 2012 edition of the Racine Mirror, a first place national finish in the America in Bloom contest with Alderman Kaprelian-Becker, and a proclamation from Mayor John Dickert of “Ambassadors to Racine.”  The community based service learning projects become a paradigm shift, where the audience is no longer just the teacher, but each other and the community as a whole.  Many of the projects are open ended integrating threads in all common core curricular goals, but these projects become more important than a “hands on project,” they become real world experiences, having educational impact within the students’ personal lives to the world they live in.  Students become immersed in their everyday world striving to use critical thinking skills that foster problem solvers and solution finders. This personal pedagogy of a theory practice relationship infused within common core creates a foundation of a philosophy of teaching.

One of the pivotal axioms in education is that all students can learn; however, when students are on such differing levels of mastery in a classroom all students must start at their appropriate level and work their way up regardless of their beginning point.  To this end, I have initiated a professional development plan of focusing in on the needs of every student by creating an individual education plan/learning profile for the entire population of students in the classroom.  The purpose of an individual education plan allows for data driven instruction that is tailored towards the goal of differentiation.  Within each education plan is a tailored focus of differentiation on literacy skills and the formation of a love of learning, specifically a love of reading.  

In the avenue of classroom community building and forming connections within the classroom, I promote the formation of a classroom culture which progresses into learning about each other, which becomes just as important as learning with each other. The purpose of this is to empower the individuals in the classroom to take risks and celebrate success.  The implementation of classroom community building coupled with individual learning plans, have added significantly to a positive classroom environment that teaches to the “whole child.”  

The teacher’s role is also to maintain a classroom within a safe environment that values complete equality, cultivates critical thinking, challenges the individuals, develops leadership skills, and allows the freedom of individual expression.  I humbly believe that I am a thoughtful, mature, motivated, professional, and compassionate individual who is willing to instruct, and in turn learn through an ever changing philosophy of teaching.  

Tina Miller

  • All students can learn when they are accepted for whom and where they are in their educational journey.
  • Effective learning requires collaboration between teacher, students, and parents, and is grounded in mutual respect and trust.
  • I believe learning takes place best in a positive, safe environment filled with laughter.
  • Every single student can succeed. I will give students the opportunity to make good decisions, take responsibility for their actions, and most importantly learn from their successes and mistakes. Providing structure that allows students to see themselves as capable and significant will lead to a sense of belonging, cooperation and inner discipline.
  • I develop significant relationships with each child, and this is achieved through genuine love, empathy, kindness and a boundless enthusiasm for the wonder to be found through discovering our world and each other.
  • I will provide a focus on thoughtful learning, with high expectations for every child, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses, and a relationship that promotes respect, trust and understanding.

My name is Tina Miller. I am entering my 12th year of teaching at 21st Century Preparatory School. Previous to teaching I was a teaching assistant working with special education students and a church youth director. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin –Parkside. I then went on to receive a teaching certificate and Masters degree from Cardinal Stritch University.  I live in Kenosha with my husband and daughter. 

Karla Stoffel

I believe that teachers hold a unique and invaluable responsibility within society.  As a teacher, I believe that it is my duty to inspire students to learn both in the classroom and beyond, and to teach them skills that will help them to be successful throughout life.  Such life skills include problem solving, critical thinking, social skills, and individuality.  Interwoven into the traditional standards-based curriculum, I believe that students should also be provided with opportunities to engage their curiosity and to explore subjects that interest them.

As an elementary school teacher, I hope to capture the natural abundance of energy and curiosity that my students possess and harness these characteristics to inspire learning and to help my students be successful.  I believe that each student is unique and that each student has an endless potential.  Through encouragement and differentiated instruction, I am dedicated to helping and challenging each student to maximize his or her potential.

With an open mind, a smile on my face, and a genuine passion for what I do, I strive to create a learning environment that is sensitive to student needs and desires and that provides students the opportunity to actively participate in the learning process.  Laughter, encouragement, and energy will accompany the lessons I teach to ensure that my classroom is a positive and supportive learning environment in which all students feel valued as individuals capable of boundless successes.

Are you looking for websites that will be beneficial to your students? Below is a list of suggestions:

Storia is a website through Scholastic Books. Our school currently has a subscription with them. Each student received a username and password earlier in the year. is another great educational site. All computer activities were either created or approved by classroom teachers.

Looking to brush up on spelling? Then check out

If math is more of your interest, then go to