Christina Quint, Washington Elementary School, Roselle, 3rd Grade
“I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had very influential teachers growing up throughout my formative years, and I wanted to be like them and give back to a child.
I had a teacher in elementary school; she was a part of my life from 1st grade through 5th grade. Her name was Mrs. Armstrong. She was a teacher that was always there for her students, and that inspired me. I could see even at a young age that the lessons she was teaching us were important life lessons. She was teaching us how to be friends with people that were different than us. She also taught us how to study, to read the chapters and take notes, and how important it was to study every night. She taught us to ask our parents questions, and to let the teacher know the next day if we didn’t understand something. I carried her study strategies with me all the way through college.
My journey in teaching started with being an aid, then I became a special education teacher, and this year is my first year teaching at Washington Elementary. At the beginning of this year, I had a major health concern come up, and I was out of work for about two months. The health concern happened the second day of school, and one of my fondest memories was of when I had decided I wanted to see the kids again, and I wanted to see them in their Halloween costumes, and see them in the parade. I was getting myself situated to come back, because I was going to come back the following Monday. When I visited the kids they all remembered me, and they all came up to say ‘hi.’ They showed me their costumes, and they just genuinely were happy to see me.
That really touched me, because I was really concerned and upset to have to leave so soon in the school year. But it was a big health concern, and it needed to be taken care of. Seeing them made me feel much more comfortable and at ease to come back, knowing they still remembered me. The people who took over my classroom were a big help with that, telling the students that I was doing ok, and that I would be back soon. The health scare is over now, thankfully.
I have so much fun with my students. We have reading circles, we incorporate the reading into history lessons, we do activities for the different holidays, and we have such a good time together. I want my students to know that whatever they put their minds to; they can achieve their wildest goals. They definitely are a group of students who are extremely bright, and I want them to know that I truly believe in them and that I am here to plant those seeds in them.”
Photography and interview by Gregory Andrus.
You can find more of Gregory Andrus’s work at Portraits of the Jersey Shore on Instagram, Facebook, and www.potjs.com
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