The GPS Blog
Made by Teachers: So when are we moving into Milwaukee?
With Andrea Roberts, Instructor at STRATTEC Education Center in Milwaukee, WI
In many ways, teaching is the single, most important profession. GPS instructors are no different, working hard to teach core subjects alongside career skills and life lessons. In this series, we want you to get to know these important individuals who put so much time and dedication into their classrooms and into their students. Meet the teachers who are making students that succeed in their education and in their technical careers.
She was a student at UW-Madison, studying history and international studies. She had plans to get a graduate degree in international economics – maybe study Latin America – when she kept getting emails from Teach for America.
So she met with another teacher in the Corps. and heard everything she needed to hear.
“(This teacher) just shared her experiences and what it was like for her. It sounded like what I wanted to do. I had been looking at the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, so I knew I wanted to impact people… but the application was due in a day. I did it in a day. Then, I got an interview and they picked me,” she explained.
“You know, my life would have been totally different. I feel that in teaching I really found my passion,” Andrea said.
"I think that’s what’s unique about teachers. In high school, you’re just going from class to class, and, if you’re not in extracurriculars, it’s harder to bond with other people. It’s really important for young adults to bond with someone so teachers get to provide that stable, constant source of support," she explained.
She worked with Teach for America for a few years before returning to Milwaukee, where she found a job teaching middle school with a local charter school. “I want to personally help Milwaukee. There’s a lot of wasted talent because of the awful effects of poverty,” she explained.
She began working for GPS Education Partners in 2011. Her first education centers were in rural communities in Waukesha County, working at Generac-Eagle or opening a past education center in Oconomowoc.
The minute she joined, she laid down a challenge, “I said ‘This is great... When are we moving into Milwaukee?’ ”
She’s now teaching at STRATTEC Security Corporation, in Milwaukee, and says that working between school environments has helped her understand the needs of both rural communities and urban communities.
Regardless of where her kids are from, her passion and teaching style remains the same: Building relationships. Tough love. Holding kids accountable but still being supportive.
“That’s what I love about GPS. That you’re developing this whole person. You get to know families and the relationships you build have this interconnection that makes it something really special. That’s what happens when you have business and school, all together, right? So that’s what happens when I build relationships with mentors and guidance counselors and department of workforce and development,” she explained.