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Teacher Spotlight: James Bratager

Meet middle school history teacher, avid traveler, and published writer, James Bratager. Mr. Bratager has been educating our Bearcats since 1991.

What is your educational background?

I grew up in Florida and attended Hialeah Senior High. After high school, I enrolled in the University of Illinois at Chicago where I earned a BA in the Teaching of History. During my education, I also attended Quincy College and Loyola University Chicago, where I received a Masters of Education in Reading.

What did you do prior to becoming a teacher at St. Luke?

Prior to teaching, I held a variety of jobs while in school. I delivered newspapers, worked at a restaurant, and was a tutor.

When did you decide to become a teacher and why did you choose this field?

I decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I was in 6thgrade because of Sr. Ligouri. She taught me how to give to others and believe in myself.

Why do you believe in Catholic education?

Simply because it includes the spiritual, so we can talk about being wholistic.

What do you like most about the St. Luke community?

There are many things - the joy, the support, the camaraderie, the commitment to help others, and the shared tears.

What do you like most about teaching as a career?

I enjoy watching when a student ‘has a conversation with the text’ on their own ability.

What is the greatest success you have had in teaching?

Going to Nationals twice for the History Fair is one of the highlights. Also, being published by Yale University.

How do you motivate your students to become active learners in your classroom?

I help them draw parallels to their lives.

Any memorable St. Luke moments?

On 9/11, our lesson plans became rosaries.

What do you like to do outside of the classroom?

I enjoy reading, traveling, eating out, walking, and biking.

What is your favorite book?

The Idiot by Dostoyevsky