Can you tell us a little about your background? How long have you been a teacher at St. John School?
I am a wife, mother of Jesse, Jeremy, and Zack and I am also a very blest grandmother of Leo, 8 and Avery, 6. I have been teaching for 36 years now, first in public schools, then in Rome, Italy, and at St. John School for thirty years.
What attracted you to teaching?
My father was a professor and that set the stage from a very early age I knew I wanted to teach. A true inspiration to me, my dad taught 54 consecutive years. That’s dedication!
What is most rewarding about being a teacher?
I love engaging with my students; I must admit I love discussions in literature class when often, a student will bring up an idea or point of view that never even occurred to me. That is so rewarding. I recall lively discussions about the ambiguous / and somewhat controversial ending of The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was wonderful to see the students so engaged and vocal!
What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started your first day of teaching?
I wish I had learned early on that the teacher does not have to be the “be all end all” of the classroom. I slowly learned that students’ opinions and knowledge should be shared with everyone in the classroom. One of my former principals, back in the day, opened my eyes to that.
How do you deal with different learners that are in your classroom?
I always try be there for them. If a student does not understand a lesson, then I will try to teach it in another fashion, or break it down so that it becomes less threatening. Coupled with that, other students may have more of an effect on them than I. Partner work and group work are essential in my classroom. Students often tend to listen more to their peers, and more willing to accept a peer’s opinion. I find this true in my ELA work.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Without doubt, it is the prep work. The classroom arena is fine and I love being with my classes, but the corrections and preparation beyond the classroom – at night and on Sunday afternoons – is rather taxing. I guess I am a bit neurotic!
What is something your students have taught you?
I have learned so much from my charges! They have taught me that a sense of humor is an integral part of teaching. If a teacher wants to develop a solid rapport with students, one way is to be able to laugh with th3m when the occasion arises, even if it’s at your own foibles.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I really love to read, watch MSNBC’s “Hardball” and spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. A major part of my life is traveling to Italy each year with my husband. I am enamored of that country, and with each visit, I discover niches and wonders that continue to astound me.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students do not know.
I am a twin to a 6’2″ brother who lives in Cambridge. I got the “shorter end” of the deal!
If you could be one super hero, who would it be and why?
The fictional Wonder Woman – she is the best! When I was younger, I always watched episodes on tv and still sing the theme song!