At eight years old, I knew that teaching was what I wanted to pursue as my career. School was my favorite place to be, so I made the decision to never leave! I had told my second-grade teacher that when I graduated from college, she could retire, and then I could take her place. If they allowed an eight-year-old to teach, I would have offered to step in right on the spot! Now, I am in the midst of my third year teaching, all within South Colonie, and am teaching first grade at Veeder Elementary School. I have absolutely loved every minute!
As a teacher, one of the most important things to me is making connections and building relationships with students and their families. I love learning more about my students’ interests, both inside and outside of the classroom, and supporting them through those connections. One of my favorite ways to do this is through “Mondays with Ms. Guzior,” where a different group of students have lunch with me each Monday. It has been a great way for me to have informal conversations with my students where not only I learn more about them, but the students learn more about each other, too. Even with the changes that have taken place this school year, we still have this time together, but now we do it as a whole class. I also enjoy building upon those connections after my students leave the classroom in June. In the summer months, I invite my students to be my pen pals and write to me about their adventures. For every letter they write to me, I write them a letter back. I believe that these connections do not need to end when the school year does.
Whether my students and I are together in person or are meeting virtually, my goal as a teacher is to create a learning environment where students feel engaged and know that their voices are important. I work towards achieving this goal by exposing students to different outlets such as creating a classroom podcast or tuning into their artistic side. My hope is that through these different outlets, the students will be able to find various ways to express themselves. Throughout our time at home in the spring, along with the virtual events this school year, I have worked towards expanding my knowledge of various resources that can help the students, and their families, succeed while at home. By creating interactive videos for my students, and delivering them on accessible platforms, I hope to make the best “school away from school” environment possible. Most importantly though, whether we are in person or at home, we always make time to get up and move for our “Friday Dance Parties!”
I am very fortunate to work alongside such caring and passionate educators. I was first introduced to the district and its staff as a student teacher and am honored to now work amongst them as their colleague. I continue to learn from and collaborate with, these dedicated teachers each day to make the best experience for our students. I am very thankful to be a part of such a great community that is South Colonie!