This fall, the South Colonie Central School District began the new series “Meet the Pack” aimed at highlighting South Colonie staff members that go above and beyond for the school community. Meet Lisha Kill Middle School Teacher Ms. Antoinette Corigliano!
Ms. Corigliano is a math teacher at Lisha Kill Middle School who has been with the district for 28 years and found her home teaching fifth grade.
“I am in love with this age group, they are so excited, they love to learn and they have this great energy,” said Corigliano about her class.
It is easy to see the passion Corigliano has for the profession. Her parents were both teachers and she knew she wanted to follow in their footsteps in kindergarten, when she was given a chalkboard and recruited her younger sister as her first student. Corigliano was nominated for “Meet the Pack” by students who noted that she is always willing to help out someone in need and makes learning fun and accessible for all.
As students left the classroom to head into New York state testing, you could see that they all wore similar bracelets. This is not a TikTok trend, it is a Perseverance Bracelet from Ms. Corigliano!
That morning, Corigliano distributed these gifts to all of her students as a reminder that a test can only measure certain abilities and that they all are “incredible, smart, hardworking, kind and amazing.” Students needed only to look at their wrist to be reminded of the support given to them in the classroom.
This is just one example of the extra steps Corigliano is willing to take for her students. She sees each student as unique, and the methods she uses to teach must adjust according to their needs.
“I do not just pull out a binder from the previous year,” she explains. “I look and see what these kids need. How can I make this concrete in their minds so they can apply it in new situations?”
Each year is different, and Corigliano accepts the challenge of tailoring the lesson to each class. Believing that it is her job to show kids that they can succeed in math, she employs different teaching tools to see which the students react to best.
“If one year you have a lot of kids that are energetic and have trouble focusing, I would meet them there, and we would do more out-of-your-seat learning,” shared Corigliano. Simply getting students to move around the classroom, having them write their work on a chalkboard, or even giving out whiteboards helps transform the lesson from just a math class into an interactive session.
Corigliano credits her approach to her own experience in school, explaining that math was not always her favorite subject. As a student, she wanted to understand exactly why the rules were there in math, and not just memorize answers.
“I struggled so much with math when I was in school. It makes me able to reach those kids a little bit easier. I am able to predict what we need to put more time into for my lessons,” she explained. Because she has been in their position, she knows how to reach out to students that need more help.
The students give the same love and respect back to Ms. Corigliano. She shared that she often has students come back after they have graduated from her class. Some visitors are still students at Lisha Kill, but others are high schoolers or college students looking to check-in and get advice from their favorite teacher.
“It is pretty reassuring that I must be doing something right,” shared Corigliano.
Throughout the years, Corigliano has gotten to see the district of South Colonie go through different stages, and is happy to see the direction the school is going in.
”I believe in a growth mindset, social, educational, emotional learning, All these things that I knew worked, the school district is also saying that we need these things,” said Corigliano. “They put the time, the money and the effort into doing what the kids need to support the teachers, this gives us ample opportunity so we can continue our learning to be the most beneficial teacher.”