Teacher Guide for a "Unit of Practice" Project

Making A Difference

By Mary Limbach
Meet the Author

"Why are some people considered heros?"


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Meet the Author

Mary Limbach

Kenosha, WI 

Durkee Elementary

Kenosha Unified

Resource Specialist
English/Language Arts
History/Social Science
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Philosophy
Reflection-Constant Growth-Productive. Whatever I teach or learn is usually something that I've thought about in great length. I'm most satisfied as a learning when I'm growing and I feel as a teacher I need to provide the environment where students experience the same thing. I feel best when I am productive-- what I do matters. As a teacher, I feel it's important that students feel productive as contributors, and that they experience an intrinsic sense of achievement which makes them want to continue growing.
My Community
The school is the neighborhood. Most students who attend Durkee are "walkers" and are the community. We are considered an inner-city school. There are several churches in close proximity of the school. Durkee is practically in Kenosha Hospital's emergency room because we are so close. Only a few blocks away is library park, a grassy area classes visit as part of lessons. The downtown library is also located in that area. A few blocls further you can reach Lake Michigan. There are small businesses and gas stations also in the surrounding community.
My Environment
Durkee Elementary is a Success for All (SFA) School. SFA is the comprehensive school wode reform model we chose 5 years ago. It is center of the school's instructional plan. We have about 185 students at Durkee and 12 classroom teachers. Our incredible support staff is comprised of special education teachers, ed. assistants, lab managers, LMS, and resource teacher. We are considered an inner-city school. Approximately 75% of our students receive free or reduced lunch. We have many wonderful programs impacting student success including SFA, Lightspan, CLC-21st Century Learning Community, a full tutoring program, and Breakfast Buddies (morning reading program) to name a few.
My Roles and Responsibilities
I am the resource teacher which means I work with students at all grade levels primarily in the area of reading and language arts. I conduct classroom instruction when training new teachers on SFA, writing, and test prep related activities. In addition, I work with individual students who perform below grade level in reading.