Hi, I'm Susan!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Susan Weissman, Advisor at CottageClass, is an educator and parent. She began teaching in 1994, and has since worked with diverse groups of students, built curriculum, and mentored fellow teachers. After one of her children was born with a life threatening medical condition, Susan wrote a memoir depicting the collective story of parenting with medical challenges. As a part-time advocate and author, she teaches about food allergy safety and management. Susan offers her class to CottageClass teachers so our students can stay safe in school.
What's your philosophy on what it means to be a great teacher? Great teachers are part puzzle solvers and part translators. They figure out two things: One, how their students best learn. Two, how to adeptly use different modes of communication and mediums to align with those needs.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a teacher? Simple. Teach before you decide you want to be a teacher. First, teach yourself. Then teach as many kinds of individuals and groups as possible. Ask your students if they've learned from you. If they have, then pursue teaching as career.
Who was your favorite teacher and why? One of my favorite teachers was a graduate school professor who loved young adult literature as much as I did. She was the first adult who acknowledged to me that those kinds of books "mattered" as much as adult literature. And she effectively modeled how to convey our mutual passion for them.
What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management? Students should feel engaged, protected, and heard. But there will be students for whom that's not enough. Teachers then need to learn what it is that THOSE students need first, before they can engage.
Credentials. Bachelor of Arts in English and Theater Arts. Masters of Secondary Education in English.