MPS Teacher of the Year goes above and beyond during COVID

Going above and beyond in the midst of a pandemic, this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is extra special. 

Teaching concurrently, Susan Kridler is one of the many Milwaukee Public Schools teachers balancing in-person and virtual classes, taking the changes of the pandemic in stride so her students get the best education possible. 

"What I really leaned on and expected from my students is to work together and practice patience," said Kridler.

In her 19 years of teaching with MPS, this past school year was one like no other as she helped kids weather COVID-19.

"Being mindful of each individual and reaching out to homes regarding that too everybody's story is very different," she said.

This week, she's taking in all of the honor coming her way.

"Every day, we give them a gift," said Tamera Ellis, Rufus King principal.

The principal of Rufus King International Middle School said though her teachers are celebrated all year long, this week holds extra meaning.

"A chance to really give back to my teachers," she said.

Gifted with sweets and cookies, for teachers like Kridler, the real treat is seeing her impact. 

"You do it to see those lights go off in your classroom of children learning and feeling empowered and knowing they can do anything they put their mind to," she said.

Last year, she was named Teacher of the Year with virtual recognition. 

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"It just really keeps you going," she said.

Accolades aside, her reward is knowing she is making a difference.  

"I’m just overwhelmed with emotion thinking about it and how much I value them. To me, it's the best job in the world. There is nothing better than a teacher," she said.

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