Michael Chiodini

Michael Chiodini of Rockton has been teaching for seven years, all at Belvidere North High School. Assistant Principal Matthew Fry commended Chiodini for being very solution-oriented: “any issue he brings to the table is paired with ideas or additional discussion for improvement.” To tackle the issue of differentiation, Chiodini gives students pre-tests, interest surveys and assessments. The information he gathers helps him determine each student’s level of knowledge and skills regarding the curriculum and helps him better understand each of them personally, as well. He wrote, “Ultimately, students take responsibility for their learning and become motivated to continue to learn because of their power of choice and differentiated practices that are unique to them.” Observers of Chiodini’s classes commented that it seemed like he valued his students’ thoughts and ideas, which resulted in a great deal of respect back from the students. One observer wrote, “He is warm and engaging but also professional. Also, confident and well-prepared. I learned a lot!” Chiodini puts a lot of energy into his lessons, which his students respond to in kind, with a high level of engagement. His student-first philosophy is shown in his goal that “each of my classes is to support students socially, emotionally, and academically while differentiating their learning to the best of my ability.” Chiodini gives students choices in how to develop learning projects. Chiodini says that in his classes, “students choose topics that are meaningful to their lives in terms of government involved or deregulation of government. This also makes students more engaged in civic practices they will experience in their communities.” Many observers noted how Chiodini starts each of his classes. He addresses the class with a few current events for the school, district and community. This introduction provides a way to share that he is in touch with what is going on and cares about his school and community. He invites students to be part of these events. In his essay, Chiodini wrote that, “by taking a few minutes a day to help students sign up for clubs, provide information on important meetings and provide them with opportunities for experiences that would be beneficial to their lives, students have become more engaged with their peers and have made new friendship connections.” Supporting students and encouraging them to support each other is Golden! William Heller, who has been friend, mentor, teacher and coach, shared that, “Mr. C is not only well-liked by his students and fellow staff members, but has earned their respect as well. He has earned the moniker of a ‘veteran teacher’ in his building after only seven years and is the ‘go to guy’ with his students and fellow teachers.”