Jilian Reints is a creative thinker, and she brings that creativity into her classroom.
As an art teacher at Belvidere High School, Reints never imagined her spunky personality and unique teaching methods would lead her to earning a Golden Apple Award. But after talking to her, it made perfect sense. With nearly 8 years of teaching under her belt, she gives credit to her students and her love for teaching. She sees everyday as a new learning opportunity.
"It's super fun," Reints says. "It's different everyday, and kids actually tell you that they did something outside of class, or if it met their needs in real life outside of school. They did something or looked at something that made them think of something that I did or talked about in class, or that another classmate talked about in class, so it really permeates all their other classes and life at the skate park or their life at church the next night, and everywhere else."
By relating her art lessons to the real world, her students stay involved and excited to learn, as well as open to new possibilities and ways of thinking.
"In my classroom, we really try to create a rapport where they can really say and do what they feel instead of what they think they're supposed to," Reints says.
Something Reints encourages every day.