Tomorrow is Vermont Outstanding Teacher Day! This marks the 32nd year that the University of Vermont has honored outstanding teachers from schools throughout our State. This year, the two educators from FWSU to be recognized are Jensen Welch (BFA) and Emily DiGiulio (FES). Each of these fine teachers exemplify one or more of the five standards for Vermont educators – Learning, Professional Knowledge, Advocacy, Colleagueship, and Accountability. We are very proud of both of our winners!
TODAY WE ARE SHARING A SPECIAL Q&A WITH EMILY DIGIULIO:
FWSU: What excites you most about being a teacher?
DIGIULIO: I love to see students excited about learning! There are so many rewarding moments in teaching and to hear a student talk about what they are learning or creating with real joy in their voice is wonderful. Sharing enthusiasm for learning with students is one of the best parts of being an educator.
FWSU: When you decided to become a teacher what did your friends and family think?
DIGIULIO:Many people in my family and several friends have been and are in the teaching profession. So I have always gotten the feeling that it is important work and was encouraged right from the start. Encouragement also really came from my husband who was an educator for many years. Bob’s enthusiastic approach to teaching was inspiring to me and to his students, as was his strong commitment to improving the profession through his writing. My professional inspiration now comes from my children and my brother, who is a teacher. One of my daughters has taught for several years and another daughter is preparing to be a teacher.
FWSU: If teaching was not your career, what would your career be?
DIGIULIO: I think if I wasn’t working with students in schools, I could see myself still working in libraries. It seems to me that people need the free access to information and the great literature that libraries provide.
FWSU: Has your teaching changed at all since you started?
DIGIULIO: My teaching has changed in many ways also as a result of my transitioning from being a Montessori preschool teacher into being a Library Media Specialist and a Technology Educator. I have always seen my role as helping students develop a love of learning and now there are many more tools that I am supporting students in using to become lifelong learners. A very important change for me has come from working at Fletcher Elementary School where I have the wonderful opportunity to learn from incredibly talented educators who continually help me to be a good teacher.
FWSU: What advice would you give to students regarding the teaching profession?
DIGIULIO: I would probably start by saying that teaching can be rewarding and challenging so try to be flexible and give yourself and your students another chance to grow and be good each day. Also, have faith in yourself and your fellow teachers. You can learn the skills and qualities you need to be good teacher and you will learn so much from the people you work with in school.
FWSU: What do you love to do in your spare time?
DIGIULIO: I enjoy spending time with my family, playing music, reading and going to yoga class. I also really love traveling.
FWSU: What were your experiences like when you were a student?
DIGIULIO: As an elementary student, I could walk with my friends to and from my school in New Jersey. I remember really liking my teachers and feeling like I was part of a community in school. Mrs. Lubrano, my second grade teacher, was probably my favorite because she had a way of making us feel like she really cared about our interests and she made learning fun. Throughout school, I always enjoyed reading, music class and studying a foreign language.
FWSU: How does it feel to be nominated for this award?
DIGIULIO: Oh, wow! I feel it is a great honor and I share this recognition with my colleagues at Fletcher Elementary.
FWSU: What are highlight moments for you as a teacher?
DIGIULIO: When I see a students’ eyes light up and they say, “I loved this book!”
“Emily DiGuilio epitomizes what it means to be collaborative, team player. She is always patient when working with students. One of Mrs.DiGuilio’s greatest strengths is her ability to be flexible within an ever changing learning environment”. FES Principal Janet E. Cerro