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Bates brings cooking and compassion to LPHS

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There is no denying that there are many devoted and giving teachers at LPHS, many of whom express their love for students in different ways. Ms. Bates, beloved Food and Consumer Science Teacher at LPHS, is known for her generosity with students and her passion for teaching culinary science. 

Bates began her teaching career at Wayzata West Middle School in Minnesota during the 2018-2019 school year. She then moved to LaPorte to be closer to family and accepted a teaching position at LPHS. Bates knew that she wanted to be a teacher from a young age. Her childhood was filled with playing “school” and pretending to be a teacher. 

“I always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in elementary school, I would go home and play school with my sister. We had a playroom in our basement that had a full size chalkboard, and we would use old books and materials from school to pretend to teach,” Bates said.

When Bates was in college, she experienced some confusion with thinking of continuing her education to become an educator. She heard that some of the policies and discussions around teaching today made the job harder and less fun. She decided that while those may be some of the more negative aspects of the job, the positive outcomes and experiences outweigh the negative. 

 “I knew a lot of teachers who told me not to go into the field because of all of the policies and politics that are taking place. While that part of the job isn’t fun, I don’t think it’s a reason not to teach. To me, teaching is a love for learning and a passion for helping others. That’s something that is just a part of who I am, so I think I was always meant to be teaching. I tried a few other majors in college, but always came back to education,” Bates said. 

Making connections with students and other teachers is the best part of teaching for Bates. She loves learning about their lives and getting to know them, which makes her job more interesting and enjoyable. 

“I love getting to know more about students than what I see in the classroom, and I love collaborating with other teachers. I do try to make a point to know a little about each student in my class,” Bates said. 

Bates’ never ending love for her students led to one of her favorite memories of teaching, as well as a moment she is excited to see in the future: graduations, both past and upcoming. She feels proud as a teacher when seeing her former students graduate and move on to a new chapter in their lives. She is especially excited to see her current SRT class, whom she has taught for three years, graduate this year. 

“I have a lot of students for a little bit of time, so it was really nice to see a lot of them again. It also makes me feel really proud as a teacher to see those students graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. The graduation this year is going to be really exciting for me because my SRT is graduating, and when I started teaching here, I had a lot of sophomores, so I feel like I will have a personal connection to a lot of the graduates. I’m really proud of the progress that I see in a lot of the students I’ve had in the past,” Bates said. 

In her spare time, Bates enjoys a multitude of activities. She spends much of her time with her family, citing them as one of the biggest reasons that she moved to Indiana. She also enjoys shopping, reading, watching television, and occasionally crafting. 

Bates offers a piece of advice to anyone looking to become a future educator- find your tribe at school. Making a group of friends in the FACS department has proved to be most helpful and an amazing support system for her. 

“I have an amazing department here at LPHS. I would not be successful if I didn’t have such a great support system at school with my coworkers. The FACS department is like a small family, and I’m really grateful for them. Having that tribe of people that always has your back is super important. We do favors and lean on each other when needed and in education you need people like that around you,” Bates said. 

Any staff member or student who has had the privilege of working with or being taught by Bates knows how important and special she is to LPHS and the field of education. She is dedicated and loving to her students, kind to all, and goes above and beyond to be the best she can be. LPHS is lucky to have such a wonderful person in the corporation. 

 

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