According to , school districts across Illinois are facing a teacher shortage. The situation is so significant that earlier this year the legislation designed to make it easier for teachers from out of state to gain credentials to teach in Illinois.
Despite challenges related to this shortage, many teachers continue to teach and they love doing it. Cassie Day, a Waubonsee Community College graduate and second-grade teacher in Oswego, is one of those people.
Day, a graduate of Kaneland High School, is in her 17th year of teaching elementary school, all at Long Beach Elementary School in Oswego. Having taught kindergarten for her first five years, her first class of students is now of age to graduate from college. Through all those years, she has learned as much or more as her students.
“Teaching, in a way, is similar to Chicago’s weather; it’s always changing,” said Day.
She understands the place her position has in the lives of the kids in her classroom and that it is sometimes more than teaching academics.
“I am with them [the students] more than they are with their parents during the week, so I smile often, teach them and love them like they are my own. The social and emotional learning needs come before academics.”
Day started out attending Waubonsee in the Nursing Program. After a year there, she left to study education at Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis. That’s where she realized that education was the career that she wanted so she returned to Waubonsee where she completed an Associate in Science Degree in 1999.
“Waubonsee is a great place to begin a college education. You are taking the same classes as you would at a major university, but at a fraction of the cost. Also, the campus is an ideal size for a student making the transition from high school to college.”
After graduating from Waubonsee, Day transferred to Northern Illinois University where she earned her bachelor’s degree and went on to earn a masters degree from Aurora University.
With the education and experience she has, Day has seen the joys and frustrations of the job, but loves it nonetheless.
“Teaching is a very challenging profession, but at the same time, I can’t imagine a career that is so rewarding. I love it when former students come back to visit me so I can hear about what they are doing. It reminds me that I made a difference.”
Day was recognized as a Student Success: Featured Alum by the college’s board of trustees at its meeting on October 17. Visit to learn more about career and education opportunities in teaching at Waubonsee.