top of page
Glancer Magazine

TERRIFIC TEACHER, November 2014 by Danielle Fitzpatrick Clark


Corey Swift – Cowlishaw Elementary, Naperville

Corey Swift takes an active interest in each individual child’s learning in her classroom. “I’ve learned that connecting with my students has to take place in order for my instruction to be meaningful,” she explains. “The students have to trust me, and I have to prove to them that my classroom is a safe place to learn, and make mistakes.”

Swift has been teaching for 18 years, 17 of which she’s been teaching 4th grade at Cowlishaw Elementary School in Naperville. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Purdue University, and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Coming from a family of educators, she knew teaching was in her blood. “As a child I loved school, and thought my elementary school teachers had the best job in the world,” she says. “After college, my dream was to get a job as a first grade teacher, but after one year teaching 4th grade, I knew where I belonged!”

When it comes to her students, Swift knows that no matter how well planned her instructions for the day are, she has no idea how it will actually unfold. “Everything else in my life stops for the hours I am at school, and my full attention is consumed by my fourth graders,” she shares.


1. What do you love to put up on your bulletin board?

My favorite hallway boards always include photographs of my students. Even when my students’ work is present, I like to include each child’s picture. Children, parents, and teachers love to put a name to each face.

2. What do you love about the holidays as a teacher?

I get to have the best of both worlds. I spend time with my students, hearing about the traditions they each take part in, and then I get time off to celebrate and reenergize with my family.

3. Favorite holiday treat to give your students…

Without giving away the surprise, I love to give my students something personalized that can be used at school after the holidays.

4. Favorite subject to teach your students?

I love math and reading, but I also love the excitement in the room when we are doing a fun science experiment.

5. Pearls of wisdom for students?

Being kind is more important than being right.

-Danielle Fitzpatrick Clark, Photo by Mike Mantucca

Nominate a West Suburban Teacher at

Trending Now Locally

Featured Partners

Shop, Dine and Support Local