Interview with Grade One Teacher: Madame Laura Colacci (formerly O’Keefe!)

Feature Teacher:  Laura Colacci

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

Since I was a young child, I dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher.  I enrolled in a babysitting course at a young age and by the age of 12 started to babysit and continue to do so even today.  This was the beginning of my dream. At the age of 15, I became a certified Level 1 ski instructor and taught children (aged 4-8) how to ski for several years.  These children brought me so much joy.  I helped these children build the fundamental skills required to become proficient skiers and helped build their confidence.

I continued to take courses in high school and university that eventually led me to attend Teacher’s College.

What are the biggest challenge and the greatest reward in teaching grade 1?

I love my profession and find my work rewarding being surrounded by children every day.  The biggest challenge in teaching Grade 1 is in the first few weeks of school when students are attending school for a full day for the first time.  It takes weeks for students to adjust to a routine, for example, recesses and staying for lunch. There are days when a few students will put on their knapsacks ready to go home during first morning recess!

My greatest reward is how much progress students make throughout the year intellectually and socially. Students learn how to read, write and end up becoming little social butterflies. I realize how important my role is in these early years of education and how I can affect and shape how these students view themselves and the world.  My role is to provide students with the tools in an environment in which they can succeed.  These are some of my reasons why I love my job so much.

What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of school?

My favourite hobbies and activities outside of the classroom include travelling, reading, snowboarding, working out at the gym, music and spending time with my friends and family.

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