South Colonie Teacher Feature: Jamie Tymchyn

Meet Jamie

What can I say?  I think working with and teaching kids is in my blood.  While both my parents may not have started their careers in the education/childcare fields, they certainly ended up there! After my youngest sister was born, my mom joined my grandmother at the nursery school that she ran and owned.  She taught there for several years before becoming a children’s coordinator for Grace Fellowship, where she still is today.  My dad started out in uniform sales and delivery and eventually went on to become the youth pastor at Grace Fellowship for many years as well.  So I come from a background of people who truly care about the education of children!

teacher posing for a picture in a library
Jamie Tymchyn is currently working as a teaching assistant for the South Colonie Virtual Academy.

I knew from very young that I wanted to be a teacher; I took the long way around to get here, but here I am!  I went from an early, in-demand babysitting career and teaching Sunday School onto teaching Pre-K & Kindergarten at a local, privately owned daycare. I also worked with the NYSP for 2 years before starting a family. After my two oldest were born I began working for an accounting firm.  After 6 years, I began looking for something that would bring back the joy in a job as well as give me more time with my kids.  A teacher friend happened to mention that Shaker Road was looking for an ENL TA.  It’s been 5 years now (with a school change to Saddlewood) and I haven’t looked back!

Working with our English Language Learners has been such a joy and fun!. To get to know these kids and their backgrounds and to see them begin to figure out the language is eye-opening. You see how much we take for granted; how easy English is to us and how difficult some of its “rules” are to grasp as a new language.   I love being able to go into the classrooms and work with the teachers in our co-teach program alongside Brie Marchese, the ENL teacher.  It’s great working with people who work as a team to make sure every child has an opportunity to be successful at school.  Working with small groups has been one of my favorite things to do. I love getting to know the kids and see their different personalities.  It helps to see how each child learns as well. I can start to see who is a visual learner, or who is more auditory or hands-on. No matter what, I just want them to have fun while they are learning so that school doesn’t leave an impression of something that they just have to do or get through.  I want to see them excited to come to groups with me and want to learn!  This year, I am the TA for 2nd Grade in our Virtual Academy. To be honest, it was an adjustment only being able to see the kiddos online and makes it tricky at times to really know if they are grasping the concept being taught.  However, the kids have rallied with us and I am having a blast with my group!  It has shown us all what can be accomplished and new ways to share information with each other.  I’m having fun learning new technology that helps make learning engaging – Bitmoji classrooms may have become an obsession!  The best part….. I can still do my crazy reading voices and help the kids develop a love of reading and how fun it can be- even while remote.