Teacher Voices

Miranda Lee - Kindergarten
Oct 13, 2016 12:00AM

What do you love about Sunset Park School?
I love that I am surrounded by equally devoted professionals who come to work with passion for teaching and eagerness to make every school day the best learning experience for students.


What do you love about your grade?
It’s amazing to see the progress of kindergarteners as they transition from home to school when every little independent achievement is a huge step.


Tell me the best professional development you went to this year:
I was very lucky to join a series of Responsive Classroom PD where I learned to establish a concrete goal in thinking about the kind of teacher I want to become.


If I asked your students what they love about SPS, what would they say?
My students would love SPS because they feel that it’s a welcoming and safe environment where they can learn to accept and make mistakes.


What positive changes have you seen in the past few years? What impact have they made on children?
This is my first year in PS 169 and I am very excited that the whole school is adopting the Responsive Classroom framework. I believe that children learn best when they’re both physically and emotionally secured and the framework help teachers cultivate such classrooms.

New Staff Showcase
Oct 11, 2016 12:00AM

What part of your day do you love best at SPS, Lisa McGuigan?
The best part of my day at SPS is picking up my students. Our students are super excited to be at school and always ask what we will be doing in class that day. It is really great to be at a school where students have a contagious thirst for learning.


What is the funniest thing one of your students have said so far, Miranda Lee?
It was the first day, we were talking about what they expect to see in school. One student said "seesaw." The girl sitting next to me immediately started to rub her hands together and all the others followed. "Seesaw" in Mandarin, sounds exactly like "wash your hands.”


Joann Paek, what did you experience here at SPS, as a new staff member that you wish all new teachers could experience? (Joann Paek is an ICT teacher for class 513.)
I wish that all new teachers would be as blessed as I am to have such an amazing class and supportive coworkers. The kids are so respectful, kind, hardworking, and such a joy to teach! My coworkers are approachable, helpful, and go out of their way to support me. A special shout out to Mrs. Gora who has been incredibly kind and hardworking! She has patiently answered all of my questions and has painstakingly collaborated with me to build a positive classroom environment that I love coming to everyday!


How about you Frances Resuta? (Frances Resuta is an ICT teacher for class 414.)
Coming into a school as large as Sunset Park School can be overwhelming and intimidating for a teacher, especially for a new teacher. However, the warmth and acceptance that I have received from my co-workers has been immense and greatly appreciated. From the security guards, principal, assistant principals, secretaries, teachers, paras, school aides, custodians, and everyone else in between, I have been made to feel at home and accepted. This has made the transition of being the ‘new kid on the block’ a lot easier for me. I wish all new teachers would be received by their new co-workers as graciously as mine have welcomed me.


Andrew, what did you experience here as a new staff member that you wish all new teachers could experience? (Andrew Race is a 12-1-1 teacher for class 105)
I wish all new teachers could experience the level of support I have felt here since Day One. I've been so amazed at how many meetings have been offered - to new teachers; to special education teachers; to 12-1-1 teachers; and of course the weekly grade cohort meetings. Not only that, but my supervisors have made it a point to reach out to me to check in on the happenings of my classroom, offer PD, and make me feel like I am valued at SPS and connected to the people I work with.

Camille Zimmerman - Speech Therapist
Jun 27, 2016 12:00AM

What do you love about Sunset Park School?

I love that I can come and do my job and have the support system for that, I like having students who are behaving and want to learn. I also like the collaboration with every staff member. It’s my first job, so it’s been a good learning experience in becoming a better speech therapist.



What do you love about your grade?

I like the age range from Kindergarten to 2nd Grade. I teach a lot of pre-learning skills and basic knowledge skills and I like those topics because the kids are extra fun at learning them. Most of them are young and want to come to me for their speech lessons.



Tell me the best professional development you went to this year:

I went to a PD this month about stuttering, I don’t have a lot of experience on that so it’s good to be more knowledgeable about stuttering.



If I asked your students what they love about SPS, what would they say?

I guess it's probably their friends. They like to have a connection outside of their classroom and the school community as well.



What positive changes have you seen in the past few years? What impact have they made on children?

I like the fact that Core Knowledge curriculum is online for easier access, so I can pull up resources on an iPad and show them to the students. Since before we had limited books on the curriculum before Core Knowledge I thought that was very beneficial to the students.

Kimberly Quezada - Third Grade
Jun 27, 2016 12:00AM

What do you love about Sunset Park School?

I love to work and collaborate with other staff. Every day is a new adventure with the students.



What do you love about your grade?

I love collaborating and sharing ideas with other teachers. It’s a great support system.



Tell me about the best professional development you went to this year:

Metamorphosis Math, it was very hands-on about problem solving. It taught me the importance of finding the way to solve the problem and not worry so much the answer, and how this applies to everything else in life.



If I asked your students what they love about SPS, what would they say?

They love coming to class and starting to work on their projects comfortably without judgment, regardless of their academic grade.



What are you excited about for next year?

Working with my colleagues for another year, getting new students and challenging them academically, becoming a cohort leader and perfecting my teaching practice.

Amy Cai - First Grade
Jun 24, 2016 12:00AM

What do you love about Sunset Park School?

It’s very rewarding to see my past students come back and thank me for making a difference in their lives.



What do you love about your grade?

First grade is where I notice the biggest change from when they’re coming to me September and leaving me in June.



Tell me the best professional development you went to this year:

Responsive Classroom

Editor’s note: Responsive Classroom is a research-based approach to K-8 teaching that focuses on the strong link between academic success and social-emotional skills. It is based in the belief that a high-quality education for every child is built on the foundation of a safe and joyful learning community.


If I asked your students what they love about SPS, what would they say?

They enjoy my lessons because I make them laugh and they learn at the same time.



What are you excited about for next year?

Working with my partner Ms. Vient again, because we work so well together. As a result the students benefit from our dynamic team.

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