As a mother of three, a marathon runner, a Spanish teacher at Portage High School, and a world traveler, Natalie Krause is a role model for those in her life.
“My students are the best part about my job,” Krause said. “I’m a teacher a counselor, and a friend. It’s so much fun to teach!”
Krause was born in Munster and moved to Chesterton when she was 11. Even in her early years, she always loved school.
“I’ve had a fair share of special teachers that made learning fun and interesting or pushed me to read more and not be ashamed to read.”
With the support of her family, teachers, and coaches, she decided to become an English teacher. Krause attended Earlham College and made a discovery.
“I took a Shakespearean class and hated it,” Krause said. “I thought, ‘If I don’t love this, I can’t teach this’.”
Krause’s parents encouraged her to find something she loves to do, so she would never dislike going to work. With the great advice from a guidance counselor, Krause chased after a new dream: mastering the Spanish language. She studied abroad in Mexico, which helped her become fluent. After earning her degree, she attended Indiana University South Bend to get her master’s degree and teaching license.
“I picked high school because I could challenge them in ways that I couldn’t younger grades,” Krause said.
Krause taught for 10 years at New Prairie before becoming a Spanish teacher at Portage High three years ago. She said her classroom feels like a safe environment to teach, and for the students to learn. There is never a dull moment.
“I love watching my students learn something new and every day is something different,” Krause said. “One day I can teach grammar, next we are learning about an indigenous tribe in Peru.”
For Krause, teaching Spanish is about developing a curiosity for other cultures and learning tolerance and respect. Krause has been to seven different Latin countries and hopes her students will want to travel while they are young.
“Students aren’t exposed to a lot of different cultures,” Krause said. “Learning Spanish opens their eyes to explore the world and maybe even inspire them to travel.”
Outside of the classroom, Krause is busy raising her three young children with her husband, training for marathons, and volunteering as an assistant cross-country coach for Chesterton High School. She is dedicated to her family and feels thankful to have had a great example growing up.
“I’m blessed to have parents that instilled good work ethic and faith, and a husband that supports me in everything I do,” Krause said.
Krause feels that being a teacher is more than just a job, it is a calling. Even though things are not always easy, she is right where she is meant to be.
“I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I felt God calling me to stick to teaching,” Krause said. “I’m glad it’s the career I chose because I love it.”