• Suzanne Budesa Wins A 2013 Blackboard Award For Teachers

    PS 364, Earth School Teacher For Grades 1-2

    By Chrissy Makris

    What are some of the key joys and challenges of being a first and second grade teacher?

    I love working with this age group because they are so curious about the world and hungry for knowledge, and they are also developing the independence to advocate for their own learning and take charge. They learn how to read, how to express themselves, and how to make friends. They’re doing hard work and I love being there to witness their successes. Sometimes it’s hard to see them struggle—particularly with friendships—but as a class community, we do our best to help each other through it.

    Tell us about any special projects or initiatives you are most proud of this year. 

    This year, I worked with Girls on the Run and a few teachers at the Earth School to start a Girls on the Run Earth School team for third through fifth graders. We met after school and worked on teamwork and building confidence while training for a 5K. It was always so great to see them along the course…and to work with former students.

    Over the course of your career, what do you consider some of your greatest accomplishments to date? 

    The students are by far my greatest accomplishments and what I am most proud of. Over the years we have collected toys to give to local family shelters during the holidays, collected books to send to a library serving the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, written letters to President Obama about pollution, and participated in runs to raise money for local organizations.

    What drives you and keeps you motivated to continue your hard work as a teacher on a daily basis?

    It’s all about the students. I get so much joy from watching the children grow and accomplish their goals. We have great days, we have hard days, and everything in between, but we do our best to grow from them. We work hard but we also have a lot of fun. Kids can find the joy in anything if they want to, and they just bring me along for the ride. I get so much joy from watching the children grow and accomplish their goals. When they have finally tackled something they have been working hard on, or when they realize they can now do something they hadn’t done before, it makes my job worth it.

    For more information about the Blackboard Awards, visit blackboardawards.com

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