West Middle School teacher raps her way to Teacher of the Week a - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

West Middle School teacher raps her way to Teacher of the Week award


Some people teach literature. Others rap about it. After 35 years in the classroom, West Middle School's Mrs. Karen Portis continues to drop a beat for her students.

I have never seen someone so shocked to win the Teacher of the Week award.

"I know you probably all thought that I was just going to stay out there and you weren't going to have to do any work, but wrong," Mrs. Karen Portis, a literature at West Middle School, said.

It was back to business right afterward in Mrs. Portis' classroom, a place where self expression and creativity rule the day. Every class begins with a quote. Portis says it's a way for students to dig deeper and analyze what someone else has said.

But this class doesn't just read literature. They rap it.

"I'm here to make a difference in the lives of my students, and that's the reason I come everyday, because you never know who it is that you're really helping.

She says many of her students have gone on to greater things.

Some are doctors.. teachers.. even a grammy award winner.

Yep.. she taught Michelle Williams from destiny's child.

Just one of many things she'll be proud of when she retires... But even then.. she says her work won't be done.

"I will still be a part of Rockford public schools whether it's mentoring students or volunteering. I could never just retire and stay at home."

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