CHICAGO — With patience and positivity, Ms. Ashley Bumpers is already making a powerful impact. And this is just her first year on the job.

At Neil Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side, she’s a primary resource teacher for students in kindergarten through second grade who have special needs.

“I remember my first day. I was scared because this was not what I had envisioned for my first day of school,” she said.


Suburban preschool teacher instilling confidence and acceptance

Most of her students are learning from home.

“If I can impact students, get them to grow in the middle of a pandemic through a computer, I can do anything,” Bumpers said. “That’s how I feel.”

Recently 7-year-old Gianni Blackwell saw Bumpers for just the second time in person. He says he loves being in her class.

“I have a lot of fun in Ms. Bumpers class,” he said. “She’s a great teacher and she lets everybody get an opportunity to talk.”

Gianni has a rare skin condition. His mom, Nicole Staggs, nominated Bumpers for WGN’s Teacher of the Month to show their appreciation.

“Since my son’s been in her class we see a big improvement in reading, writing,” she said. “From having a disabled kid with life threatening challenges it makes me feel really honored to have somebody as good as her.”


Suburban Plainfield teacher uses written word to inspire young scholars

Her reaction to the honor?  Bumpers was speechless.

“I feel honored. I feel grateful,” she said.

And after a difficult year, she says she’s blessed.

“I feel really blessed because my aunt was a teacher. I come from a long line of teachers and she passed away in December,” she said. “I feel like this is her confirming that I’m doing what I should be doing.”

With plenty of one-on-one social and emotional support, Bumpers says she wants her students to learn skills that will help them far beyond the classroom, like how to be a good friend.


Nominate your favorite teacher here!

Read More

Leave a Reply