Educator Spotlight: Stephanie Quarantotto
Meet Stephanie Quarantotto
What grades do you teach, and/or your title/role?
I teach fourth grade, all subjects.
What school, district or institution do you work for? Location?
Pennell Elementary School in Penn-Delco School District (in Aston, PA).
Who inspired you to become an educator?
A former teacher at Sun Valley High School, Chuck Grassano. He was the kind of educator that led from behind, coaching kids to be their true authentic selves. He encouraged personal growth through the very real process of making mistakes and reflecting on how to be better. He ultimately became my biggest cheerleader, teaching me valuable lessons on giving grace and setting high expectations for all learners.
What motivates you?
The relationships that I have with my students motivate me to put my best foot forward. Whether it be engaging conversations within a lesson, or debriefing the weekend during morning circle, they remind me that the best parts of each day are the connections we make.
What advice would you give to your first-year teacher self?
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and relationships are the key to success.
What do you wish more people knew about being an educator?
That we’re in it for the right reasons. As simple as that.
What do you love most about Bridges curriculum/math apps/MLC?
This is a really easy answer for me! I really enjoy the math Work Places! Learning through play has been a proven strategy in remediating gaps in instruction, and promoting problem-solving thinking. Each unit has at least three to four engaging games that students can participate in to strengthen the content being taught. It promotes team building (when we play against the teacher!) and is also a great tool to revisit independently. Lastly, they’re easy to access virtually anytime, anywhere!
What do you love most about working with students?
I love seeing how students arrive at different math answers using strategies that work for them. Even better, I love when they teach me a new strategy that I can add to my toolbox to help support a learner who thinks differently!
What’s your math story? In other words, how do you feel about math and why?
Growing up as a student, I didn’t love math. Mainly, I missed out on opportunities to really understand the concrete relationships between numbers. As I took education courses in college, many of these skills instantly connected, and I learned to love problem solving! As a teacher now, I really enjoy pulling as many tools as I can from my math “toolbox” to help give students the confidence that they CAN learn and love math too!
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