Inspired to Teach

3/25/21 | School Articles, Alumni | by Meg Picciolo

Inspired to Teach

    My name is Karin Peterson. My husband, Chris, and our two boys, Noah and Walter, and I belong to St. Dominic Catholic Parish. I graduated from St. Dominic Catholic School in 1998. I knew by the time I graduated St. Dominic, that I wanted to pursue a career in education. I was very inspired by a couple of the teachers I had during my time at St. Dominic, who wanted to help kids learn. Some of them include Ms. LaFlamme, Mrs. Toth, and Mrs. Stevenson. Looking back, I learned that they were showing me ways to be a role model to others, both in and out of the classroom. They taught me, as well as my parents, life-long skills, such as perseverance, dedication, and determination. These are some of the skills I teach my students each and every day. 

    After I left St. Dominic, I started to think about college. After graduating from Brookfield East High School, I went to Mount Mary University to pursue a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Social Studies (thank you Mrs. Stevenson for sharing your love of history with me). I went on to become a teacher. It was at St. Joseph School in Big Bend, that my teaching career really changed for me. 

    I was nominated as an Outstanding Teacher for a contest by Catholic Financial Life. This was a contest that took place nationwide. One of my current students (I teach fourth grade) nominated me for the honor. They saw me as the same type of role model that I saw in my teachers at St. Dominic. As a part of the contest, Catholic Financial Life held a week-long voting portion, where you could vote for your favorite teacher. After this process, there was a committee who looked over the votes and the comments made by others on behalf of the teacher. I found out at the beginning of Catholic Schools Week that I was in the top three. Catholic Financial Life awards the top three participants $4,000 for their school. This was a huge honor!

    After I heard the news, I began thinking about my career so far. I have been teaching for 15 years. I have been trying to model myself after the teachers I had as a kid. It is my responsibility to create a safe, welcoming environment in which students can learn and grow in their education. Every child has the potential to succeed by using their unique skills and learning styles. I strive to design lesson plans that will meet the needs of all learners. In my classroom, learning can be fun and creative, allowing all students to express themselves and showcase their talents. I strive to educate the whole child, by incorporating hands-on lessons that include a variety of projects and individual work that engage the student and activate learning through multiple group settings. In another words, I try to make learning fun!

    I am truly blessed not only to be able to share my faith with my students everyday, but to show my own children the importance of our faith at 7:30 AM Mass every Sunday. I am forever grateful for everything St. Dominic has shared with me.