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Teacher Choice Spotlight: Parochial School Educator
posted by: Alix | January 26, 2012, 04:06 PM   

This week is National School Choice Week – a national movement of grassroots organizations calling for more educational options. Here at AAE, we support National School Choice Week because we support educators in all settings and encourage teachers to pursue the school and setting best suited to their needs and interest.

As part of National School Choice Week, AAE has profiled teachers throughout the country to showcase their own unique setting and choice. Today we are profiling Ms. Debbie Gleeson, a Catholic elementary school teacher in New Jersey.

Name: Debbie Gleeson
School Setting: Parochial school, private Catholic elementary school in New Jersey
Years teaching: 13, 6 at current school
Experience with other settings: I have taught at a private all girls academy, for the New York City Board of Education and Gwinnett Public Schools in Georgia.

Q:  How do you benefit from school/ teacher choice?
A: I feel I benefit from school choice because it gives me the opportunity teach wherever I want, whether it be Catholic, public, or private.  I have the right to decide where I teach and what I want to teach and one school may be a better fit than another for many different reasons, (location, commute, environment, class size, ability to teach religion etc.)

Q: Do you think you are a better teacher because of your setting choice?
To me, being a teacher isn't about where you teach, it's about teaching and making an impact on students.

Q: What is your educational philosophy?
My philosophy on education is to provide a comprehensive education for students where they develop to become independent successful learners.  I believe that students should be taught in a safe, inviting, supportive environment.  I hope to also foster relationships for students where they feel like they are becoming confident learners.  I am a firm believer in meeting the needs of all my students.  Not all students develop or learn at the same pace, or through the same style.  It is my job to find the best learning style for a student so they can succeed.  Teaching is my passion and I want only the best for my students.

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about parochial schools?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions of charter/Catholic/virtual schools is that their teachers are not as qualified to teach as "public" school teachers or that we teach "different" curriculum.

Q: If you are a parent, do your children benefit from choice?
A: I am the parent of 2 amazing children.  I have a 12 year old son who is in seventh grade and a 10 year old daughter who is in fifth grade.  My children benefit from choice in a sense as my husband I chose to send our children to our local public school even though I teach in our Catholic school.  They are getting an excellent education and the school they are in is a great fit for my children.

Q: Would you encourage young people to consider a career in teaching?
I absolutely would encourage young people to consider a career in teaching.  It is such a rewarding profession.  Where else do you get to see your successes on a daily basis?  Seeing your students succeed or have an "a ha" moment when they "get" something is unlike anything else!  Teaching is my life and I wouldn't know what I would do if I couldn't be in a classroom!

Ms. Debbie Gleeson is featured in AAE's film Teacher's Choice. Click here for an advanced look.

What do you think about Debbie's experience teaching in a private school?

Comment below.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Teacher Choice
written by Veronica Sabloff, January 31, 2012

I wasn't familiar with this organization until this link was recommended to me.
Seeing the enthusiasm (and smiling faces!)
of each teacher is so encouraging!
I hope AAE will consider doing more public/media ads so parents/citizens can
become aware of its goals. It's timely and

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