Can you tell us about yourself?
"My name is Tara Garczewski. I work for St. Vitus Catholic School. I am a 3rd grade teacher. I am the technology teacher for the entire building. I am also the Stream Lab teacher so lots of rules there with my school. I am all over the building which is good for my Fitbit. I do need earphones all of my students in the whole building. My school location is 915 S Jefferson St, New Castle, PA. 16101. I've been there currently now for 2 years but I have been teaching for 18 years but that's a new rule for me. It is a smaller school but I like it because I get to reach out to all the students within the school building."
Why did you start a career in education?
"Question 2, why did I start my career in education? It started when I was 4 years old and I would play school in my basement in my home as a child. I had books and I had attendance sheets and I had little school desks. I pretended to teach. So, even at an early age I knew exactly what I wanted to be and that has never change and I never had a doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a teacher. Technology has always been a huge part of my life. Soon as computers were out my parents gifted me with a computer. It was a Commadore 64 and I was probably about 7. I was on it all the time figuring it out, playing Oregon Trail. Technology has been a back bone of mine along with education all my life."
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
"There's no other job. Hands down, its education, being a teacher, being active in the classroom, classroom teacher. Something that I strive for to now is to become an administrator for the school or a school in either the technology department or as an elementary principle."
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
"Kids are different because I have had 18 years going on 19 years in education. Technology is ingrained in these students now. Back when I started my teaching career, technology was there but it wasn't as ingrained in the education, in teaching, in learning, and assessing as it is today."
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
"How is teaching different now than 30 years ago? I explained some of that but also now parental involvement is a lot different than when I started teaching in my 20's. Parental involvement has changed and evolved. A lot of parents now are both working, there is not a lot of stay at home families and I see that in the children that I teach. They come to school maybe unprepared for the day. So, a teacher's role has become more inclusive than whenever I started the field earlier in my life."
What would you tell someone who wants to become a teacher?
"I would say that it really takes a special person and if that is your first and foremost profession that you choose to do, do it. But if it's not and there is something else that you have in mind, kind of pursue it before you get involved in college, in the track of teaching. Make sure that's your definite true passion in love of teaching."
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
"One thing change to help kids learn better would be probably offer more time with individual students. If there were more hours in the day, I'd be a happier teacher because I would get to each and every student throughout the course of the school day. Them, as students, don't want to have a longer school day but allowing that individual time one on one instruction with the teacher is something that I would change."