It’s National Education Support Professionals Day, and we’re celebrating all week here in GF Nation! Today, let’s meet Mrs. Tina Harrington, Teacher Aide in Mrs. Jamie Denno’s class at Jackson Heights! Mrs. Harrington supports many students in the health and safety realm, during class lessons, and in social interactions with their peers. This is her third year as a TA at Jackson Heights, after spending two years at Big Cross, and the previous 15 years as a lunch lady in all of Glens Falls schools!
Tina believes it is very important to listen to students when they speak to us. “They need to know that they are being heard, as this will be helpful for them to succeed in life as they grow,” she explains. “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the smiles on their faces when they’re talking to me. Whether it be answering a question right or as simple as engaging in conversation with them, it just touches my heart when they are smiling and happy.”
Over the years, Mrs. Harrington has noted that patience and kindness are the keys to students’ success. “They need to know that we are here for them, we will always listen to them, and their feelings matter,” she says. “By learning to adapt to their needs, we can help build up their confidence and self-esteem so they can achieve their best potential. Every child is unique and special. They are our future.”
Jackson Heights Principal Carrie Mauro has nothing but praise for Tina’s huge heart for children. “Tina is a dedicated aide who gives her heart, patience, and extra special love through her art and craft talents to all the students of Jackson Heights,” Ms. Mauro said. “We are very lucky to have her!”
Mrs. Harrington attended Glens Falls schools for most of her school years, and graduated from Glens Falls High School in 1985. Her favorite volunteer work over time has been in geriatrics and, naturally, working with children. She currently volunteers at Jackson Heights after school on most Tuesdays with the newly-formed S.A.G.A.S. program (Snacks, Arts & Crafts, Games After School).