Jacqueline Beck-Sherlock is very proud to say that she has been teaching High School mathematics for the past 26 years. Becoming a mathematics teacher was a dream come true. She first became infatuated with the subject in fourth grade; when her grandmother helped her to understand deeply, the study of fractions. From that time on, there was no stopping her when it came to learning mathematics, because she now had the confidence it took to do so. It was also then, that she realized that she wanted to become a mathematics teacher because she had discovered earlier (in kindergarten), that she wanted to be a teacher. You see, her grandmother would make her copies of her homework assignments and she would then invite her friends over to play school. She was the teacher! She feels very lucky to have discovered her passion at such an early age. In pursuit of her passion, she attended: St. Rene Elementary School, Maria High School, and DePaul University.
She began her teaching career in 1997, at Orr Community Academy. She chose that school above all others because it was recently closed due to low performance and DePaul helped her to understand that the most struggling schools needed the most passionate teachers. She began teaching mid-year and became the mathematics department chair the following year. One could only assume, that they saw the passion and knowledge that she had for the subject. The math department became her second family and they set out to improve the quality of mathematics instruction. They read all the latest research on teaching mathematics and began to implement appropriate teaching strategies. She began teaching standardized mathematics test prep via the school's closed circuit TV's during long division and with the help of DePaul's Gear-Up Program, she began working with the local elementary math teachers to help prepare students for high school. With-in three years, the number of students that were at or above the national average had risen 850%; from 1%(for an entire decade) to 17.1%. This was a tremendous accomplishment, however the work was never done. In 2002, she was invited to teach at Gage Park High School. She continued her work as the mathematics department chair. She also continued to search for new research based teaching strategies that would improve instruction and comprehension. For the first time, she found herself surrounded by young new teachers that were just as passionate. They looked to her for guidance and inspiration and she looked to them for a reason to continue to grow professionally. In 2011, she was asked to bring her passion for mathematics to Hancock High School and she did. She immediately found a new opportunity to grow professionally and so she immediately began training to become an RA(Reading Apprenticeship) teacher. This training has forever changed her perception of teaching and learning. You see, RA teachers believe in teaching students to be independent thinkers and life-long learners by teaching them to access information on their own. This type of teaching requires teachers to provide students with appropriate text to read and discussion questions. RA teachers pride themselves on teaching students the art of learning thru asking meaningful and appropriate questions. Her work is never done as she continues to grow professionally and feels accomplished by finding new ways to engage students in meaningful conversation that will promote learning and understanding.