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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.

January’s featured teachers are, Ms. Bersaw and Ms. Scanlon from the elementary school, Mr. Scannell from the middle school and from the high school Mr. Toole.

Mr. Scannell

Mr. Scannell

6th Grade Science

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

In 4th grade, my teacher, Mr. Charles Kamlot, was an avid rock climber. Each weekend in the spring he took a different small group of his students rock climbing in the Shawangunk Mountains of the Catskills. He used his own passion (and equipment) for rock climbing to engage his students. This incorporated both team building and trust as well as trust among the group of students.

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

When I was in my early to mid 20’s, I entered and competed in several demolition derbies.

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

To be honest, when you love your job, there really are no bad days. If I had to define what a good day looked like, I would say it needs to be a good day for the kids. If the students are enjoying the lesson and engaged in the topic, you really can’t ask for more since the subject you teach should be your own passion.

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

Ask them what they are doing in school and to explain to you what the topic is about. Ask them what subjects they like more or less than others. Inquire why they may like one subject more than another. Is it the subject itself, the teacher or possibly the classroom dynamic.

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

For science the greatest resources we have is our natural world. Here they can see natural phenomena up close. It is one thing to read and talk about different topics in class, but when they can relate what they learned in the classroom to the natural world, they are achieving a higher level of learning.

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

I would want to take them to a location where they can see beauty and amazement, but also see the challenges that this location faces. For example: Traveling the Amazon and seeing the rich biodiversity, but at the same time seeing the extensive deforestation that is occurring.

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

The entire John Steinbeck collection. (East of Eden or Of Mice and Men are my personal favorites)

Mr. Toole

Mr. Toole

High School Science

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

Playing faculty vs. students dodgeball with LINK Crew!

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

In my free time I enjoy playing the guitar.

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

When everything runs smoothly as according to plan.

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

Ask them how their day was, if they did anything fun, if they learned anything interesting, and if they were having any issues with anything.

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

It is important for everyone to know how to use Schoology. Also, I think it is important to read everyday so having family reading time would be a great thing for families to do.

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

I would like to take them to Alaska to see the Aurora Borealis.

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

“The Lorax” by Dr. Seus

Ms. Bersaw and Ms. Scanlon (l-r)

Ms. Bersaw

Special Education

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

My favorite memory from school is when my second grade teacher, Mrs. Norton would tell us she was going to hang us by our ears if we forgot something at home.

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

The students would be surprised that I hate steak. I think it is gross and I would rather eat a hotdog.

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

A good day at school would be seeing all the students engaged in learning. Also watching them succeed in a task that was very difficult.

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 ask if they had a good day. I would also ask, what did you learn today and how was your lunch?

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

I think the best resources are ones that provide the children challenges and they have the opportunity to solve them on their own.

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

I would take the students to Venice, Italy. The culture is beautiful. They could see how everyone adapts to life without roads and instead use waterways.

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

I would not bring a book! I would bring my phone and stay caught up on emails! 🙂

Ms. Scanlon

Special Education

1. What is your favorite memory from school?  

My favorite memory from school was clapping out erasers from the chalkboard.

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

In high school I used to be in a show choir and Courtney and I shared a main role in a school play! 

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

Seeing a struggling student make great gains! There is nothing like seeing the joy on their faces when they achieve a goal! 

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

How was your day? Can you show me what you learned in math today?

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

The best resources I find are online. As a teacher I am always watching videos on YouTube of other teachers teaching to help me grow as a teacher.

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

I would take them to Ireland so they could see and experience the culture of somewhere new!

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

Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems