Another Year, Another Teacher


Christina M., Daily Life

The St. Robert middle school has a new face in the math room. Her name is Ms. Van Kirk. She recently moved from Illinois to Wisconsin. Ms. Van Kirk originally came to Milwaukee for her cousin’s surprise wedding. She then fell in love with the city and decided to move to Milwaukee. 

Ms. Van Kirk decided that she wanted to become a teacher because she explains, “My younger sister and I would play school. Since I was the older sister, I was the teacher and I taught math.” Eighth graders Lily, Lindsey, and Ava are very satisfied with the new math teacher: “We think Ms. Van Kirk will improve the atmosphere.” Many students have gained a lot in the few weeks of school. 

For example, 7th grader Sylvia says, “Ms. Van Kirk is a very nice teacher. She gives us good material and explains things very well.”

After Ms. Van Kirk decided on being a math teacher, she had several jobs before landing at St. Robert. She explains that she, “[is] a camp counselor in the summer.” When she is on summer break, she enjoys her time counseling at summer camp. She explains that she really enjoys teaching kids at camp and in the classroom because she can see when they have a “light bulb” moment. She likes it when kids have a light bulb moment because “…[it is a] moment when they finally realize what’s happening.” 

Ms. Van Kirk wanted to become a teacher at a Catholic school, for she was enrolled in a Catholic school growing up. St. Robert was Ms. Van Kirk’s Milwaukee pick because of the large community as well as the challenging math curriculum. Thus far, Ms. Van Kirk thinks that St. Robert is a very great school, and “the curriculum is very tough and challenging.” As much as she loves all of her students in middle school, she loves being with 6th graders because she gets to see their train of thought, and how they progress more and more throughout the year. 

Ms. Van Kirk was so inspired to pursue her teaching career because she wants kids to, “see how enjoyable math can be. [I want them to] grow into who they are going to become as adults.” Ms. Van Kirk likes teaching math, but if she had to pursue another career she would consider becoming a detective: “I enjoy crime shows, and I love figuring out mysteries.” 

In conclusion, Ms. Van Kirk came to St. Robert to help build students’ futures. As she is just getting used to St. Robert, she is enjoying the school community. Many students look forward to going to math and can’t wait to get to know Ms. Van Kirk even more. Even though Ms. Van Kirk has only been at St. Robert for a month, she is a teacher students will always remember. 


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