Teachers, we appreciate you! Our entire organization is dedicated to ensuring that you know you matter and have the resources needed for success. We cannot celebrate all that you do without acknowledging the impact of the last year on education. In honor of all of the work, we reached out to our education community to find out the why, the rewards, the advice and the hope that comes with being a teacher today. Thank you for all of the work! For showing up, for being innovative and adaptable, and doing everything in your power to keep learning going with your students regardless of where your classroom was.
Q1- Is there a specific moment you can point to that made you want to pursue a career in education?
No true specific moment, but I've just always wanted to teach. When the door opened for me to become one I walked right on through!
Trista Norton Bronx River High School
Yes, before I became a teacher I had a job as a home health aide for children with developmental delays. I often helped the children with their homework, read to them, or took part in continuing the therapy regime that their therapist informed the parents should be carried out at home.
Gladys Miller P.S.197M
My first grade teacher was amazing and made me feel so special. I wanted to be just like her.
The specific moment that made me want to pursue a career in education was during my Economics class, my first year for my undergrad degree. I remember sitting through the class thinking like what I am doing? Do I really want to sit in an office cubicle for the rest of my life? I originally started off as a Business Administration major. At the same time, I was working as a substitute teacher's aide at a special education pre-school on Fridays. I remember thinking while in class, do I really want to do this? Or do I want to work with kids and make a difference? Just being in a classroom has always been fun for me.
Q2- What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the impact that I have on the children, both current and former students. For me, the impact on former students is what really is the most rewarding part. There are two 5th graders this year who really gave me a run for my money as second graders. Over the last few years, the two students often visit to seek guidance, support, and a place where they can vent, knowing that I am a "safe space." These lasting connections show that you've truly impacted a child's life.
Jennifer Tucci PS 197M - John B. Russwurm
Teaching a child to read - the moment when they move into levels E/F and I know that they have the beginnings of some word attack skills, but also initial comprehension. If they actually love reading too - BONUS!
Q3- What advice do you have for those considering pursuing a career in education?
This is a job that comes from your heart. The strength you will, comes from within. This job is not a job, it is a promise you make to families and students that you will try your best! Keep pushing & pushing. Always remember why you do what you do!
My advice is simple, notice the small accomplishments of each of your students and when you do let them know and celebrate in the moment with them.
Viviana Hay Public School 54K
Surround yourself with people who are positive about the profession and truly love children.
Q4- What are you looking forward to most as we transition back to the classroom?
I’m in person, so the only thing I’m excited for is a regular schedule. I actually can’t wait to use some of these technological resources for small group instruction, for supporting teachers, and for creating new ways of presenting student work.
What I am looking forward to most as we transition back to the classroom is interacting with my kids face to face. Teaching in person. Being able to help them more on the spot! Having fun conversations and building stronger connections face to face. I also miss my coworkers. I love collaborating with them and having personal and academic conversations with them. I cannot wait to go back!