Faculty Spotlight: Lois Stanciak
Program: Teacher Preparation
Lois Stanciak began teaching religious education classes at her parish and became hooked on education.
"I was in an entirely different career, but I so enjoyed seeing students make the connection -- the 'aha' moment," she explained. "The more I worked with students, the more rewarding I found it to be."
Stanciak's resume includes an impressive list achievements. She began teaching English in an inner city high school with at-risk students, after which she was awarded a scholarship to the University of Chicago and received her master's in English Literature.
"Then I pursued an MA in Special Education because many of my students had learning difficulties and I wanted to know how to adjust the teaching to help them master the coursework," she said.
Stanciak then continued her education and received a CAS in Administration from National-Louis University and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Vanderbilt University. She became certified in administration, journalism, art and all special education areas: LD, BD, EMH and TMH. Her work experience spans four different districts and such positions as special education and gifted coordinator, director of Student Services, assistant principal, associate principal, principal of summer school, and curriculum director at the district office.
Her favorite position was working with and mentoring new teachers to help them become more effective in the classroom. She loved their passion for the profession and their motivation and willingness to learn.
It makes sense that she is now a full-time faculty member in the Teacher Preparation/Education program at College of DuPage, where she instructs students interested in teaching as a profession.
"I can share the positive aspects of teaching as a career as well as the challenges future teachers will face in the classroom," she said. "You have to maintain your professionalism and keep up with the changes and current research in your field, as well as current events."Lee Iaccoca captured the importance of being a teacher. He said, 'In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.' Teachers can and do impact the future. That is an awesome challenge and responsibility."
Stanciak would like her students to not only gain a solid foundation of the major concepts of the teaching and learning process, but also learn the importance of teaching as a profession. She is inspired by individuals who strove to do right regardless of the personal sacrifice or consequences they encountered, such as Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.
"A teacher can have the ability to create a positive or negative attitude toward school, to create an interest in a specific career, to build confidence or cowardice in a student, to encourage risk-taking or passiveness, and to motivate and inspire," she said. "Those responsibilities should be taken with care and commitment.
"Teaching is not an easy 'job.' Good teachers make it look easy. Yeats said, 'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' All children are waiting for someone to light their candle. My favorite quote is from Witicraft: 'A hundred years from now , it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove ... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.' "