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Jenn Darer

ECE 270
Educational Autobiography and Goals
I grew up in Somers, NY in Westchester County and attended Somers Central School
District for my whole grade school career. Our elementary school consisted of kindergarten
through second grade, our intermediate school consisted of grades three through five, our middle
school consisted of grades six through eight, and our high school consisted of grades nine
through twelve. Ironically, my teachers in the elementary school are the ones that I remember the
most and that had the most impact on my feelings and desires to want to become a teacher;
especially my first grade teacher, Mrs. Genez. Over the years I have kept in touch with her and
my relationship with her has only blossomed over the years. In my high school, we have an
opportunity to intern during the second semester to earn English credit through a program called
WISE, Wise Individualized Senior Experience; who else would I choose to be my mentor other
than my first grade teacher. I observed and student taught for her class. Mrs. Genez left such a
positive impact on me in elementary school that she unquestionably partook in my desire to
become a teacher.
Once kindergarten came around, I was so excited to start school because I had been
assigned the same teacher that my older sister had when she was in kindergarten; her name is
Mrs. Ciota. By the time school started, I felt as though I was academically ahead of most of the
kids in my class. I was reading whole Dr. Seuss books by myself and could understand the
message of the story. Additionally, I had a number of friends in my class. Once kindergarten
ended and summer flew by, I was even more excited to start first grade because my best friend
was in my class. I was nervous though because I didnt know whether my teacher was going to
be nice or strict. In the end, it turned out that she became my favorite teacher; her name is Mrs.

Genez. She was always friendly and engaged in what we were doing and was always willing to
go out of her way to help each of us. Once we started the guided reading groups, we were placed
into groups based on our reading level. Immediately, I knew that there was something different
with my group because there were only two of us and our regular teacher didnt read with us,
the teachers assistant did. Then, I noticed that a few of the books we read were at a second grade
reading level. Neither my classmate nor I had any problems reading and comprehending each
story that we read. Additionally, my teacher would ask me to help out other students in the class
who were struggling. However, once I hit second grade, I felt as though my reading skills
plateaued and the rest of the class caught up.
The year of second grade was an interesting one. Once again, I had a number of friends in
my class, but I ended up having three different teachers. As soon as I grew to like the first one,
she had to leave for a family emergency. Its sad to say that I dont even remember her name; all
that I remember is that it started with a G. After she left, the substitute teacher, Mrs. Mulligan,
came and taught for a month or so until our permanent teacher, Ms. Persich (now Mrs. Stirpe),
came and taught for the rest of the year. I was intimidated when she first came to teach. She
seemed strict, yet really nice and friendly at the same time. I remember she had us decorate little
paper people and write our names on it. She hung the little paper people up on the chalk board in
different sections. The first section was if you were being good and behaving. Your paper person
would get moved down to the section below if you were misbehaving. I remember that the other
side of the chalk board was where you never wanted to be; if you were on that side youd either
get a note home or call home. Back in second grade, that was the worst and most embarrassing
thing that could happen to you.

Additionally during second grade, I realized my real academic strength was in math. I
remember playing around the world often and I would almost always win. I was the student
that my classmates never wanted to be up against because even they knew that I would most
likely beat them saying the answer. Third grade solidified my mathematic strengths even further.
My teacher, Mrs. Sandvoss, had us solve 5-minute math worksheets. Each consisted of 100
mental-math questions consisting of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or all mixed
together. Each sheet got progressively harder and I just remember solving all questions rather
quickly and answering either all correctly or next to no answers incorrectly.
Throughout elementary school, my friends more or less stayed the same. My best friend
that was in my first grade class lived two houses away so we were constantly spending time at
each others houses. The other students in my classes throughout elementary school changed
every grade; maybe one or two kids would be in my class again. Because the kids in my class
were constantly changing, so were my friends. Each year I would gain a few more friends here
and there, but also lose some. However, the friends that I still have from home are the ones that I
met before fourth grade; most of them Ive known since I was five years old.
In my future classroom, I would love to steal the little paper people idea and the 5
minute math worksheets. I feel as though the quick little math assessment is a good way to be
able to tell who is struggling; therefore, these math assessments wouldnt be graded.
Overall, I feel like my teachers did their best to try to help everyone equally in my class.
My first grade teacher would even use the smarter kids to help the kids that were struggling.
As a future teacher, my goal is to try to accommodate every students need to the best of my
ability. I want to make sure every student feels heard and comfortable enough to ask questions if

they have to. Since each student is different and learns differently from one another, its
important to be able to diversely explain the lesson so each student is able to comprehend what
needs to be done during the lesson. During my internship in high school, I quickly came to
realize how different each student really was from one another. Additionally, I think that it is a
big part in the profession to teach students so they can strive in the real world, not just in the
school world. In my opinion, if the teacher can accomplish this, then they have done their job.
We, as teachers, dont produce robots or clones, we create thinkers.
My ideal job would be to teach a first or second grade classroom. At that age I feel like
they are always willing to learn and have the desire to learn as well. However, with my ESL
minor, I have been thinking about getting my Masters Degree in Reading and Writing/Literacy.
With this degree, I can help children who are struggling to read and also prevent students from
plateauing in reading skills similar to how I did. My ultimate goal is to be able to help my future
students feel good about themselves with anything they are doing and have them realize what
they are truly capable of doing.