FLUSHING — Elementary teacher Jamie Perigo has been selected as the Flushing Education Association’s Teacher of the Month for November. Perigo teaches first grade at Springview Elementary School and is in her second year of teaching at Flushing Community Schools.
Below is a Q and A session between Perigo and the Flushing Education Association (FEA):
FEA: Why did you become a teacher?
JP: As most teachers do, I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in as many kids’ lives as I could. I went into teaching in a time where there was high need and low teacher retention. Even when I was questioned on my decision to become a teacher, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do and where I needed to be. I have vivid memories of teachers throughout my life that impacted and supported me in times of happiness and hardship. I wanted to give that back. I wanted a profession that kept me on my toes, pushed me to grow year after year and helped kids realize their true potential.
FEA: What motivates you to put in the blood, sweat and tears that education requires?
JP: What motivates me to put in the blood, sweat and tears that education requires is my kids. Each one of them is so different and unique in their own way. Each kid comes to class everyday needing something different. They may need someone to listen to them, someone to cry to, someone to laugh with, someone to push them to not give up, or even someone to give them structure and stability. My goal each day is to give my kids a quality education, allow them to express themselves, remind them they are important and give them whatever little extra support they need that day. THEY are what keeps me going day after day.
FEA: What role do teachers have in the community?
JP: A teacher’s role in the community is to love, support and encourage students. We are here to help shape students and show them their true potential. We do not just teach them academics, we are here to teach them how to be a good role model, citizen and how to play an active part in a community.
FEA: What is a moment you’d like to share from your profession?
JP: Even those days when I feel exhausted, tired, and burn out, the minute my kids walk into our classroom it all goes away. My students are EVERYTHING to me. To my past, present and future students, thanks for making me a better person and a better teacher!