#TeacherTuesday: Janna Beckman, Leclaire

Janna Beckmann | Leclaire Elementary | Kindergarten 

Janna Beckmann had some pretty awesome teachers throughout her years as a student that made their love of learning contagious and in return, made her want to learn.  

She is now doing the same for kindergartners at Leclaire Elementary where she is in her fourth year. Beckmann has been teaching for 10 years.   

“My parents joke that I always had perfect attendance because I never wanted to miss out on what we were doing in class!” 

She added that if you asked her brother if Beckmann always wanted to be a teacher, he would quickly refer to her favorite game as a child, called ‘school on the steps’ where she always wanted to be a teacher.  

Her love of education and teaching grew at McKendree University, especially with a professor named Mr. Stanish that taught her what it meant to teach a child and not just teach the textbook.  

“He was the most amazing teacher I had ever met. He said we should always find a way to reach a child, even when it doesn’t fit the ‘norm’ for teaching. He taught us how to ignite creative thinking and encourage their imagination.”

It’s that advice that Beckmann always keeps in mind when creating lesson plans and other activities.  

Beckmann said there are many great things about teaching kindergartners.  

“Honestly, what isn’t great about teaching them? They are always so excited to see me every morning and love to greet me with a hug. Who doesn’t want a good hug 24 times each morning?” 

The progress they make from where they start in August to where they end in May also amazes her.  

“I love to see how much progress they all make. I get to see them grow in so many ways in kindergarten.” 

The biggest thing she hopes her students take away from kindergarten is just knowing how much she loves them and wants them to succeed.  

“I want them to know that I’m always there for them and that they matter to me.” 

When she’s not in the classroom, her own two children keep her busy.  

“We love to do anything outside. Some of our favorite activities are swimming, fishing, hunting and riding our bikes.” 

And when she does get time to herself, Beckmann is usually reading a good book or making crafts on her circuit.