As I reflect on my career and make my way into my 10th year of teaching, I realize that despite the grueling system that controls the teachers and children of New York City public schools, I will continue to do all I can to build good character and set a strong foundation for our future generation. I am very happy with my classroom and am ready for the challenges this year will provide. I realize that teaching several years and having significant experience never makes it easier to do what I do. Every year brings new children, new circumstances, and an increasingly impossible system to adhere to.
I have compiled a list of all the job titles I hold. I know teachers will definitely agree with this list. Here they are in no particular order: Mom, Dad, interior decorator, nurse, financial planner, psychologist, mediator, babysitter, author, voice-over actress, theatre actress, custodian, construction worker, electrician, magician, singer, artist, college and career planner (yes, in kindergarten and even pre-K, the DOE says we are getting the children college and career ready), analyst, curriculum writer, motivational coach, event planner, pilot (because I take children places they never knew existed and have only dreamed of) and oh yeah, I TEACH.
I am a constant in a child’s life. I am a motivator. I help children reach for the stars. I help parents help their children reach for the stars.
I am a spender. I buy for my classroom and students the same way I buy for my house and relatives. I give my entire being to the children under my care and I am wiped out at the end of each day.
I TEACH. It’s a short word with a hefty responsibility and long definition.
Michelle Glorioso is a pre-kindergarten teacher at PS 216 in Brooklyn.