Teacher Focus: Samantha Famigletti

Challenge Preparatory teacher Samantha Famigletti says she was born to teach. She always knew that teaching was her calling, spending hours as a child playing “school” in her imaginary classroom while pretending to be both teacher and students. It’s no surprise she loved going to school, and even though she struggled in her studies one year, she turned all that around to ultimately fulfill her dreams of becoming a teacher.

Now Famigletti has several years of teaching experience and is currently seeking a Dual Masters degree in Literacy and ESL from St. John’s University in Queens. Famigletti is truly set on making a difference in the lives of her students.

“I try to make my lessons relatable to the students to help each grow as a person. I like to use as much hands on learning as possible,” Famigletti shared.

Famigletti recognizes teaching 4th graders has some unique challenges.

“This age is more emotional. They start to have social issues that they don’t know how to handle yet, and that affects them academically. I help them by being open about my own life. For instance, if I have a bad morning, I show them that it doesn’t have to ruin my whole day. My example can help show them how to manage tough situations.”

Ms. Famigletti welcomes feedback from her students. She wants to know if a teaching technique is not working so she can make adjustments to be sure lessons are not compromised. She strives to help students love learning while keeping academic standards high.

“I want them to know that hard work pays off. Sometimes they don’t know how much they have achieved, but I can show them the progress they have made over time,” said Famigletti.

Famigletti begins her teaching day by greeting each student entering her classroom. As the day progresses, she loves to see how eager students are to show her their work and to see the light bulbs go off when they master something they have been struggling over.

Famigletti’s approach and openness with students is making a difference. With a focus on academics coupled with learning life skills, the passion she has always had for teaching is clear.

“If I wasn’t teaching, I have no idea what I would do. I love it, and no matter what I’m going to make it fun and enjoyable for my students and me.”