Mid-year printed edition: Four teachers switched grades for this school year


Julia Rosenberg

Four teacher nameplates changed rooms this year. Mrs. Cavalli's moved from a second grade to a fourth grade classroom.

COLONIAL SCHOOL — This year, four teachers switched grades at Colonial. They are Mrs. Meryeme Gashi, Ms. Piera Hattar, Ms. Sophia Shkreli and Mrs. Claire Cavalli.

Mrs. Gashi moved from fifth grade to fourth. “I like them both,” she said. “I taught fourth grade for four years in my other school. I like fourth grade because I like that I get to teach the same students the whole day. For example, I get to also teach social studies instead of just science.”

She added, “There are many more activities in fifth than fourth, and I’m enjoying the change.”

When asked what the main difference has been, she said, “The main difference is the children are working towards building more stamina during independent work time.”

Ms. Hattar moved from second to fifth grade. Last year was her first time in second grade. It was also her first year teaching at Colonial.

“I really liked the switch,” she said, “because I taught fifth grade for my whole life, and I am really familiar with the curriculum.” Ms. Hattar said a big challenge was the “new curriculum, there is new material for the fifth graders to learn.”

Ms. Shkreli, who is in her second year teaching at Colonial, moved from Kindergarten to second grade. She was excited to move grades.

“I actually was very excited about switching grades,” said Mrs. Shkreli. “I have taught second grade before for six years. It felt like I was home again.” She likes both grades. She doesn’t have a grade that is a favorite to teach.

“I really didn’t like either grade better,” she said in an interview. “Kindergarten pushed me to teach out of my comfort zone because I never taught it before. I liked teaching Kindergarten because my children at home are close in age.”

Mrs. Cavalli, who is also advisor to the Colonial Times, moved from second grade to fourth grade. She said she was really interested in moving grades.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow as a teacher,” she said. “I loved teaching second grade, and I was very nervous about learning a new curriculum, but I felt it was important for me to take a risk.”

She had a hard time deciding which grade she liked best. “Hmm… I don’t know yet. I love teaching early childhood education and loved working with younger children. Now, in fourth grade, it is amazing how much they have grown since second grade.”

“I am not sure which I like better yet,” she concluded.

(This story was originally published in the mid-year printed edition of the Colonial Times.)