Educators Credit Union values teachers. In order to honor teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, we interviewed teachers from our area to get to know them a little bit better. On deck today is Niki Mazzolini, who is in her first full year of teaching at Indian Trail High School and Academy.
Ms. Mazzolini got her degree in English with a secondary education license from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She is certified to teach grades 6-12 in English. She started student teaching at Indiana Trail High School and Academy and is now running her very own classroom. ITHSA is broken up into comprehensive and academy students, where Ms. Mazzolini is currently teaching a World Literature class for the Sophomore academy students and Survey of Literature for Freshmen.
When asked if she enjoys teaching the younger high school students she said, “Yeah! I think it’s fun. They are at a fun age. When the Freshmen come in, they are seeing what it’s all about and trying to find to find themselves. It’s cool with the Freshmen because you can still be goofy with them and have a lot of fun in the classroom.”
Ms. Mazzolini loves that teaching is different every day. She enjoys the flexibility of being able to apply different learning techniques to her lessons. She loves that her students are so all so different and come from different backgrounds because it brings so much engagement and diversity in the classroom. Even though she teaches the same lessons throughout the day, every class is different because the students all learn in unique ways.
“As a first year teacher, my biggest challenge is time management,” says Ms. Mazzolini when asked what challenges she faces in her job. “I’m planning all my lessons, meeting with students, meeting with parents, meeting with staff, constantly grading and I’m the sophomore class advisor, so it’s difficult to find a balance between my personal time and teaching time.”
She said that now she is in the fourth quarter, she has finally found a balance between her school life and her personal life.
Ms. Mazzolini’s face lit up when she asked who inspired her to become a teacher.
“I have two actually!” she said. “Annie Grugel and Suzanne Swiderski are both from the education program at UW-Parkside. I think I connected with both of them so well because they really dove into my personal experience at UW-Parkside.”
Ms. Mazzolini says both were so caring and really gave her the tools to become a successful teacher. Even now, they still check in with her to see how she’s doing.
Although it’s Ms. Mazzolini’s first full year of teaching, she has already had a lot of success in her career. “It’s really hard to try and fit each lesson to every individual student since everyone learns differently. But having worked through that, I have students that will come up to me and thank me for caring about them and working with them to be successful students. It’s really rewarding to hear them say. ‘Oh! I get it now!’”
Educators Credit Union encourages you to reach out to your teachers and thank them for all that they do. If you are looking for a creative way to show your teachers appreciation, head over to the Educators Pinterest page and check out the teacher appreciation board.