Suzanne Anselment is a second-grade teacher at Big Cross Street School.
What do you do to engage your students? What makes your learning environment unique?
I believe it’s so important for the students to be part of their own learning so that they’re engaged and having fun. They love having hand-on activities and being able to work, learn and interact with one another. I think our classroom environment works out well because we really are like a family starting on the first day of school. They come into our classroom each morning knowing that they are loved, important, valued and smart! Respect is mutual between students and adults when we all work and learn together
Why do you think it’s important to teach the way you do?
Students come from such diverse backgrounds with countless different experiences, so it’s important to keep that in mind when I’m teaching. I think it’s important to use the technology and resources available to help students keep up with the ever-changing world. I also appreciate the saying that “fair isn’t always equal” because different things work out best for different students, so I try to incorporate that into my teaching as well.
What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?
The most exciting thing about teaching is realizing just how much the students have grown during the school year! The best feeling is when I’m working with a student and think “Wow!” listen to him/her read! Or, “Look how far this student has come since September!” I also love how each and every school day is different and when I see the students arrive in the mornings, I love how they make me smile.
Describe your best lesson ever.
My favorite lessons are when we do science activities and the students can see what’s happening right in front of them. Usually their reactions can be heard out loud because they get so excited! When we do our science unit about liquids, solids and gases, there are some lessons that have an element of surprise that make it so much fun for the students as well as for me! I also enjoy our Social Studies unit about United States Symbols.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I grew up in Mahopac, NY (downstate) and graduated from Mahopac High School. I attended SUNY Oneonta and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, then obtained my Master’s Degree in Reading from SUNY Albany. I have been teaching in Glens Falls at Big Cross Street School for 21 years. I’ve taught 4th, 3rd and 2nd grade during those years.