Name: Leigh Toste
School: Jackie's Private Education
What or who inspired you to become a teacher?
Working with students of all backgrounds and knowing how I can inspire the love of learning to others has inspired me to become a teacher. However, I did not know the full impact of teaching until I was in the classroom for a few years and former students began coming up and giving me hugs.
How are things different for you now, compared to when you first started teaching?
It's amazing how things are different now compared to my first year of teaching. Knowing how to manage a classroom effectively, provide multiple learning opportunities and being creative all comes with experience. I learned so much from my first year of teaching and loved my experience, however, I don't want to go back.
What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?
I would tell a new and struggling teacher to ask for help. We have all been there. We have all had our first year and have little tricks to smooth the rough edges.
My best day in the classroom was when…
it was the end of the year and a student who was previously struggling with reading came up to me with her mom and said, "Mrs. Toste, thank you for teaching me how to read, now I love reading." Her mom had tears in her eyes. This is how you know you have not only touched a child's life, but the entire family's.
The best compliment I've ever received from a student or parent was...
that I was not only a well-rounded teacher, but a role model to teachers, parents and students.
What's your favorite part of the school year?
The beginning. I love to get to know the students and do a lot of the classroom building.
What is your one must-have item for the classroom?
What do you eat for breakfast of school days?
Oatmeal and coffee, coffee, coffee.
What is the last non-academic book you've read?
The "Twilight" series,
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