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Janelle Brojakowski

Photo of ambassador Janelle Brojakowski

Where do you teach? Fallsburg Elementary School (Lawrence County)

What subject(s) and/or grade(s) do you teach? I currently teach 4th and 5th grade ELA. However, throughout my career, I have taught all subject areas.

How long have you been teaching? I have been teaching for 20 years.

Why did you become a teacher? Why did I become a teacher? This is the question that I get asked the most often. My reply is always the same, I couldn’t imagine myself in any other profession. Teaching sparks a passion inside the soul that is indescribable. As a teacher you encourage, inspire and empower others to be the best versions of themselves. It is the most challenging, fulfilling, and rewarding career that one could pursue. To sum it up, I became a teacher to truly make a positive difference.

What has been the best part of teaching that you didn’t expect when entering the profession? The best part of teaching that I didn’t expect when I first entered into the profession is the connections that I would make with my students throughout the years. It is the realization that through even the smallest act a connection can be made. These connections have lasted beyond their elementary years. They have expanded beyond the classroom walls. It is the understanding that through these connections students will feel comfortable to take academic risks that will push them beyond what they thought they were capable of achieving. It is connecting with a student who views school as a place of adversity and helping them view it with a new positive perspective. Through these connections I have learned that every student is wonderfully and uniquely different. It has allowed me to approach teaching through a “well-rounded, whole child” lens.

What is one thing you wish non-teachers knew about what you do? Many people think teaching is simply taking a curriculum or standards and presenting them to students. However, teaching is so much more than just the instruction that we provide. To teach is to inspire the future, empowering the next generation. It is to challenge students to push themselves beyond the limits that they never knew existed. It is to foster a love of learning that will remain unbreakable. Teaching is being vulnerable in front of students and letting them see your weaknesses and strengths. It is showing students that we are all unique and different. Allowing them to understand their weaknesses and expand upon their strengths. Teaching is opening up your heart to show love and care that you didn’t know you were capable of, even to the most challenging individuals. To teach is to make connections, foster achievement; and motivate students to pursue their passion.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a teacher? My greatest accomplishment as a teacher is helping students understand themselves as not only a learner but also a person. It is helping students build positive self-esteem so that they can reach even their most difficult goals. It’s giving students the tools they need to believe in themselves. It’s showing students how to persevere through challenging situations. It’s helping students have the mindset that they should not look at negative experiences as failures but rather as learning experiences. It’s fostering and building relationships that last years after students have left my classroom. My greatest accomplishment is helping students find their passion(s) and become the best versions of themselves.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t teaching? Sitting down in front of a nice fire with a good book.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would travel to Greece.

What are your social media handles? N/A