Linda Speranza has been a teacher in New York for nearly thirty years. Born into a family of educators, Linda knew at a very early age that the only career path for her was to be a teacher. Linda takes pride in bringing her optimistic and positive personality into her classroom, creating a respectful and fun loving atmosphere.
Linda currently in New Canaan Connecticut, has been teaching second grade but will be moving to a fourth grade class for the first time this coming school year. The basis of her success is creating a world where her students value each other and the differences they bring. Linda believes in positive feedback and building relationships based on respect, with her students and with fellow staff.
How did you get started in education? What inspired you to start this career?
I come from a family of educators. My father was a well-known educator in Rockland County as the Assistant Principal of both Clarkstown North and South High School. I started teaching right out of college, teaching Catholic School for two years. After I completed my Masters in Education, I began teaching for the White Plains Public School District. I have always been drawn to work with children. I’ve worked in camps and I have tutored. I just always knew that I would be a teacher. It is who I am, who I have always been.
Tell us something about yourself that a lot of people don’t know about you?
I take pride in the fact that I am a successful teacher. I am strong in character. I am courageous and brave. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle, is more than eating well and exercising. I pride myself on respecting others and being open to educated discussions. I do the right thing, even when no one is watching. I believe that honesty, integrity, and respect are all values that I show and that I empower my students with. I attend St. Aloysius church weekly with my children as well.
What are your strengths?
I am patient and caring. I have a kind personality and a dedication to my students. I want my students engaged in the learning process. I encourage them to see their own potential and to grow their strengths. I provide consistent, positive feedback to my students in the hopes that even when they have a setback, they can learn from it. I think my sense of humor is also a strength. You have to be able to appreciate the humor in life, even if you’re going through a difficult time. I have good leadership skills and a calm demeanor.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is being a great mother and a great teacher. I feel like I balance my relationships with my students very well. I am approachable and I want them to know they can talk to me. I take pride that my lessons are relevant to their lives. I am firm, but fair and consistent. I have a big heart and want what is best for them. I want to make a difference in the world. I have helped young people develop the life skills they need to be successful and I take a great deal of pride in that.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you had doubts about your career? If so, how did you handle it?
Growing up, I always knew I was going to be a teacher. I can honestly say I have never had a doubt about being a teacher. Back in kindergarten, I would spend recess helping my teacher. It has always been my calling, my passion. There was never another career that spoke to me the way education has all my life.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have been teaching second grade for most of my career. This will be my first year teaching fourth grade. I am very excited about it and looking forward to it. It’s not really a tough decision, I see it as a new adventure. I have been working on developing the lessons I will need for my new curriculum. It is going to take some time to adjust, but I believe I am going to have a lot of fun with it.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think my personality makes me successful. I am calm and keep a positive outlook, always. The relationships that I build with my students make me successful. I am very aware that I am a role model for them. I don’t just tell them my expectations; I present those expectations in my interactions with them. I want them to be kind, happy, and successful in life.
What does the future hold for you and what are you most excited about?
Teaching fourth grade is a brand new world for me. I am truly excited about where this new path will lead me. I am embracing the change of being with older children. It’s a brand new curriculum for me to learn and to teach. It is a positive change and I can’t wait to get started.
What do you like to do for fun?
I believe exercise is good for clearing your mind and encouraging your spirit. I spend time with my family, just enjoying our time together no matter what we are doing. When I am not with my family you will most likely find me at the gym or enjoying an outdoor sport or activity.
What books have inspired you?
Responsive Classroom books have inspired me. It empowers children to take responsibility for their actions and helps to create a positive classroom and school environment.
What is a recent purchase you have made that helped with your career?
I’ve recently purchased a new computer that I plan to use to help build the new curriculum I will be developing. Of course, being a teacher, you often invest your own money into making the classroom environment. You don’t even really think about it when you’re buying things that you need. In the end, you know it will be well worth it.
For more information, please visit behance.net/lindasperanza