Second grade teacher Stefanie Fleishman has only been teaching for two years, but as long as she can remember, she was destined to become a teacher. As a six-year-old, Fleishman helped her mom set up her second grade classroom. While other little girls were planning dream weddings, she was using a notebook to map out the classroom she knew she would have one day. Twenty years later, she stepped into her dream as a new teacher at Challenge Preparatory Charter School.
Though any first year of teaching isn’t easy, Ms. Fleishman learned quickly to embrace the challenges. Watching her mom for years, first as a second grade teacher and then as a fifth grade teacher, she came to teaching with a natural knowledge about how much planning and preparation are involved in her chosen profession.
“I love working with kids and making learning fun. I want to make them fall in love with learning and experiencing new things,” Fleishman stated.
Fleishman incorporates creativity into learning to keep children interested in education. She knows hands on activities and using technology help improve retention of concepts. In teaching science for instance, she guided students to raise caterpillars and then to release the mature butterflies, grew Tickle-Me-Plants, and made ice cream to learn about matter. For Social Studies, she invited a police officer in to help scholars understand more about community relations, and she took the kids on local trips to learn about their community.
Ms. Fleishman incorporates her love for theatre into the classroom by creating events around the material she is teaching and dressing up as special characters. Last year, her scholars went on a leprechaun hunt to learn about St. Patrick’s Day. Guess who was playing the leprechaun? She also has dressed up numerous amounts of times for multiple holidays. This year the students will do a Readers Theatre production puppet show to culminate a unit of learning about Fairy Tales and Tall Tales.
Recognizing her 24 scholars are at different learning levels, Fleishman knows the value of differentiating instruction to help each student reach their highest potential. Her relational approach is all about success for her students.
As she noted, “I love that students are comfortable to open up to me, and I will do anything in my power to help them achieve their goals and dreams.”
With her long-held teaching dreams fulfilled, Fleishman’s dedication and creativity are sure to serve students for many years to come.