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CHICAGO — She’s teaching, reading, writing and so much more. For WGN’s April Teacher of the Month, we head to Back of the Yards to learn about Dr. Andrea Parker.

In Dr. Parker’s reading class at Robert Fulton Elementary, her seventh grade students are detectives on the hunt for irony.

She has been a CPS teacher for 18 years, with the last six being at Fulton. She loves being able to teach in the same neighborhood Parker grew up in.

“When they leave here, I want them to know they’ve got something valuable,” she said. “Something that can never be taken away from them.”

Since Parker was a child, she’s always been a writer.

“I write poetry, short stories,” Parker said.

The school’s drama club performs her plays every year.

“I was able to merge my love of writing with teaching together and teach middle school writing and reading and all of that,” Parker said.

She’s not only giving lessons in reading and writing — but empowering her students to advocate for their education.

Her student, London, nominated her for WGN’s Teacher of the Month.

“Me and my friends were like ‘whoa, we’re getting this big grade teacher she’s going to be hard in class,'” London said.

To nominate a teacher, click here.