'Feature a Teacher' -- Q&A with Mr. Chromczak

What's important to you in delivering learning opportunities for your students?

"Be the kind of teacher you would want your own kids to have," is how I try to think when planning lessons and interacting with my students. We all have our memories of elementary school and I think it is important to work towards replicating those positive experiences for today’s students. I had a lot of inspiring elementary school teachers and I strive to give my students the same learning opportunities and experiences. 

How do you interact with your students? How do you keep them engaged and having fun while learning?

I think the experiences we are going through this year have shown that we can't take the pleasures of life for granted, and being able to go to school is one of those pleasures.  We are doing our best to follow the safety procedures that we need to continue in-person learning. I can tell by the way my class follows our school rules that they understand the importance of practicing safe social distancing, keeping our workspaces clean and sanitary, while doing our best to stay positive and healthy. I am so happy to be back in the classroom with my students. The start of the 2020-21 school year was a memorable day. 

In terms of learning in the classroom, I believe that through reading fiction, we all have a way of escaping reality. This year, the fourth grade teachers at Pieter B. have shifted our focus and procedures a little bit and are incorporating more full-length novels into our reading curriculum. When I think back to when I was in elementary school, I remember reading a lot of great novels and how much I enjoyed those stories.

What has been your favorite moment while teaching your students? Was it when a student no longer struggled trying to work through a problem etc...?

My favorite moment at Pieter B. was watching my class learn how to tap maple trees for a NYS Agriculture in the Classroom contest that we participated in last Spring. Project Based Learning Coach Kate Thibault and I worked on this project along with third grade teachers at A.W. Becker. Unfortunately, we weren’t able unable to finish the project due to Covid-19, but we still had a lot of fun. 

4. What makes you passionate about the teaching profession?  

When I walk beneath the arbor on my way in and out of school each day, I am reminded about why I love teaching. A sign hanging on the arbor displays the motto of our school:  'a place to learn and grow'. As an educator, I think it is important to recognize that we, along with our students, continue to learn and grow.