Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Who is teaching our children?

From left to right: Diane Jerrett, Cathy Schulman, Adys McDuffie, Laurie Fischer, Mary Beth Schneller, Jill DiZio and Susan Schadler. Photo by Val Simon

From left to right: Diane Jerrett, Cathy Schulman, Adys McDuffie, Laurie Fischer, Mary Beth Schneller, Jill DiZio and Susan Schadler. Photo by Val Simon

Lessons in First Grade Teachers

First grade teachers at Tommie Barfield Elementary have a vast amount of experience among them. Early grades set a solid educational foundation for learning throughout a student’s school years and beyond. High expectations are vital to the learning experience, as stated in the school’s belief statement. This year, teachers at TBE are introducing ‘new math’ as adopted by the Collier County School Board. Students have readily accepted the new math and approximately 250 parents attended a recent Math Academy Night which gave an overview of the new math series. The key word with new math is ‘investigations’ and is meant to develop a deeper understanding. At the first grade level, the students must demonstrate an understanding of place value concepts, strategies in solving addition and subtraction problems, know the attributes of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, measure and compare objects using non-standard units for length, weight and capacity. Students are encouraged to use various strategies in problem solving at school and at home.

The first grade teachers are:

Cathy Schulman has a BA in Art History and BA in Geo-Science from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a Masters in Elementary Education. She has taught for a total of 9 years at TBE, three of those years teaching first grade. Cathy believes learning should be fun, interesting and engaging. From an early age she wants students to love learning, school and especially reading. She believes hard work and perseverance pays off. Readers are leaders!

Jill DiZio has a BS in Elementary Education and Early Childhood from Nova Southeastern University and a Master of Education in Special Education from Framingham State University. She’s taught pre-school, kindergarten – 8th grade in special and regular education for 18 years. Jill has been married for 37 years and has two grown children. Jill’s first teaching position was as a kindergarten teacher in rural North Carolina, part of her daily duty was to drive a school bus route! Her class motto is ‘Sow the Seeds of Kindness. Each day the students add ‘stones’ to a kindness jar when they demonstrate kindness to others; when the jar is filled, the class votes on a reward.

Laurie Fischer has a Bachelor of Education and Business Associate degree. She’s been teaching for 17 years in grades Pre-K through 4th. She volunteers at Big Brothers/Big Sisters and also the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County. Laurie has two daughters attending college in Southeast Florida. They model and act in sports shows and tv commercials. Laurie has created three start-up companies and owns patents and trademarks. Her products have been sold around the world! Although Laurie has been blessed to own and operate businesses, her first love is teaching. Her motto: To Teach is to Touch a Life Forever. Laurie credits her third grade teacher, Mrs. McCloud, for inspiring her to become a teacher.

Susan Schadler has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University. She has taught grades first through sixth for 38 years. Susan likes to read and play golf in her spare time. She is married, has a son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Susan wants to foster a love for reading in her students. She believes independence with responsibility is important. She tries to encourage students to make as many of their own choices as possible.

Mary Beth Schneller has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Rhode Island. She has taught a total of 17 years in Collier County, grades kindergarten through third grade. Mary Beth enjoys taking photos of her children’s sporting events. She has been inspired by the Marco Island Charter Middle School cross country team and is trying out running. Mary Beth has been married for 18 years and has two children, Ashley 13 and Jacob, 10. She received a Reading Endorsement last spring. Mary Beth believes learning should be fun and interactive and that all children can learn but do so at different rates and in different ways. The teacher needs to find what works for each child.

Adys McDuffie has a BA in Elementary Education, First through Sixth Grade and Early Childhood Education, Kindergarten through Third and a Masters in Reading from Nova University. Adys has taught grades K,1,2,7,8,9 for a total of 19 years. Her hobbies include camping, bike riding and scrapbooking. She is married to Mike and has two sons Randy, 15, a student at Lely High School and Austin in third grade at TBE. Adys feels she is blessed to be a teacher. She feels it is her job to help her students be successful and build self-esteem. The classroom is a place where it is okay to make mistakes because we all learn from our mistakes. A classroom should feel safe and comfortable. It’s a place where lots of learning takes place even while having fun.

Diane Jerrett graduated from Florida Southern College with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She has taught grades K, 1, 2, 4 for a total of 23 years. Diane is pretty busy being a mom and a teacher, but she enjoys scrapbooking when time permits. She is married to Jim, a PE teacher at Calusa Park Elementary. She has two sons, Jake, who is a sophomore at Florida State University, and Alex, a junior in high school. Diane’s classroom motto is BE POSITIVE!

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