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Berlin Central School District introduced a monthly highlight on its teachers this year. It is Teacher Feature, teachers from the elementary, middle and high schools will be presented each month.

BCSD will quote their responses to a light-hearted questionnaire. This is an opportunity for the teachers at BCSD to share a little about themselves as well as offer some advice from a teacher’s perspective.

December’s featured teachers are, Ms. Doyle from the elementary school, Ms. Hammersmith from the middle school and from the high school Ms. Wetmore.

 

Ms. Michele Doyle

BES Reading Specialist

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

I have so many great memories from school—friends, soccer, adventures.  But, I have to say, my favorite memory is of my second grade teacher.  Her name was Mrs. Constanza and she taught me to love reading.  To this day, there is nothing I love better than to snuggle up with a good book!

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? What is one of your hidden talents? 

I think the students would be surprised to find out that I played soccer in elementary school, high school and in college.  In fact, I didn’t hang up my cleats and put away my shin guards until I was 50 years old!

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

A good day at school is when my students are enraptured with a book.  We end up having so many good conversations about the book and that makes me feel so happy!

4. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

What was your favorite part of your day?  What book did you or your teacher read?  Who did you play with at recess?

5. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

Hands down, the best resource you should strongly consider using at home are books!  But, not just books, all kinds of printed materials:  magazines, letters, comics, cereal boxes, even closed captioning on TV.  READ, READ, and READ some more! 

6. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?  

If I could take students on a field trip to anywhere in the world it would be on a hike, in the fall, to the top of a mountain in the Adirondacks.  The views are spectacular!  

7. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?  

If I was trapped on a desert island with one book it would have to be either The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore or The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki.  Both novels are historical fiction, which are my favorite.  I just love how the authors offer a deeper insight into history.

 

Ms. Elisa Hammersmith

FACS & 6th Grade Social Studies

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school?

I always loved hanging out with my friends.  I was a quiet student so my teachers never really heard me speak but, if they came into the lunchroom they would hear me laughing and talking with my friends about anything.  

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? 

I don’t think any of my students know that I had several ancestors fight in the revolutionary war.  So I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution because I can trace my lineage back that far.  I think that is what got me interested in history. 

3. What is one of your hidden talents?

One of my “hidden” talents is that I love to sew. I know I use this in FACS class but, I once altered a wedding dress, made my own prom dress and full Renaissance gown.  Costumes are my favorite thing to make.

4. What makes a ‘good day’ at school?

A good day at school is when I get to actually talk with my students.  I love to learn new things about their interests and topics or subjects that they like to learn about.  It’s really great when I can use their interests in the classroom.  

5. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school?

I don’t like the question “how was your day?” because you only ever get one response, “fine”.  So I really think we need to ask questions like, “what did you learn in ____ class today?”  This gets them to think about the specific classes and even reflect on the content. 

6. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom?

Reading and paying attention to current events.  Any resources that allow a student to read and open their minds to new information is wonderful.  I remember my mother and I sharing books or reading together.  If a parent can have the same reading experience as their student then they will become lifelong readers and therefore, learners.  

7. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?

I absolutely love the Hancock shaker village.  I may be biased because I used to work there but this historical site is a great representation of 1800’s US history, technology, architecture, horticulture, animal husbandry, art, Shakerism, and overall is a great place for hands-on learning. 

8. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book?

The book that I could re-read all the time is called “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer.  Yes, the same author that wrote the Twilight series.  This book is a science fiction novel that really puts a whole new spin on our perception of humanity.  

 

Ms. Dawn Wetmore

Technology Education

 

1. What is your favorite memory from school? 

My favorite memory from school is participating in sports and skiing with my friends at ScotchValley in Stamford NY.

2. What would the students be surprised to find out about you? What is one of your hidden talents? 

Students may be surprised to find out I am a quilter.  I wouldn’t say it is a hidden talent but I do enjoy trying to create perfection in my quilts. 

3. What makes a ‘good day’ at school? 

A good day at school is when I make a connection with a student, whether through working with them on an engineering design project or in class. 

4. What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my child(ren) on a daily basis after a day at school? 

I would suggest asking your child on a daily basis after a day at school, what did you do to help someone today.

5. What are the best resources that we should consider using to support our child in the classroom? 

The best resources we should consider using to support our students in the classroom would be CODE.ORG

6. If you could take the students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them? 

If I could take students on a field trip to anywhere in the world it would be skiing at Sunshine Village, or Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada.

7. What is your “trapped on a desert island” book? 

I have many books I would like to be trapped with on a deserted island, but if I had to pick one it would be “A walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson.