Getting to Know Your Teachers: Ms. Garo

Welcome to the first installment of R-Hi’s “Getting to Know Your Teachers” Column! Each month I will be interviewing a new teacher to learn more about them in and outside of teaching; November’s teacher is Ms.Garo! She is an English Language Arts Teacher and was the first to win the Bulldog Award this year, making for a great close to the first quarter! In order to win, according to Mr. Morano, student input, supervisor, and administrative input are needed to “narrow down the choices.” After a few nominees are discovered, the supervisory and administrative teams vote on who will be awarded. Congratulations Ms.Garo and thank you for participating in the interview!

Q: What made you want to be a teacher?

A: So, I actually come from a long line of educators. My dad went and got his doctorate in history and my mom is a teacher and my sister is a principal at Jersey City and my aunt was a teacher, so a love of education was instilled in me from a very young age. When it came time to make a decision in college about what I wanted to do, I couldn’t think of anything else other than teaching.

Q: What made you want to teach English Language Arts?

A: I actually had a teacher in high school who was super influential to me. Just his teaching style and the topics we discussed, he was a world literature teacher. The more existential questions he would purpose to us and make us debate were so interesting to me that I always just gravitated towards English after taking this one teacher’s class. My love for reading literature kind of grew from there.

Q: When did you first start working at RHS?

A: I started here in 2016. I started teaching in Jersey City, I worked there for three years and then in 2016 I was hired here, so I’ve been working in Rutherford for 7 years.

Q: What is one of the most rewarding things as a teacher?

A: I think that seeing the “aha” moment in students’ eyes when they light up when they understand something is definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. Or having students come back after they’ve graduated, letting me know that they actually used the things that we did in our English class in college, that is super rewarding to me and just really being able to be there for my students.

Q: What is your teaching style? What do you think you do differently?

A: I think that I am strict and hard, but I think I’m also fair and I think that I always try to give respect to my students, so there is always a kind of strong mutual respect between myself and my students. I think that creating that respectful environment is a huge part of making sure that classes run smoothly. If you respect one another then you’re kind of opening your mind to learn new things from one another and I think that’s super important when it comes to education.

Q: What is your favorite lesson that you teach?

A: I love all of them! I love everything! How about I break it down by grade? I think that I like the tenth-grade curriculum the most, I really love everything in the curriculum. We cover The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, and Macbeth. Those are probably five of my favorite literary pieces that I teach out of all the curriculums. I have to say it’s gonna be the Sophomore year curriculum.

Q: What are some hobbies you enjoy when you’re not teaching?

A: So, I have a three-year-old son and I love spending time with him and doing any outdoor activities with him. I also love football, I love the New York Giants, and I love watching games on Sundays. In the wintertime, I am a huge snowboarder, I’ve been skiing and snowboarding since I was three years old, so any chance I can get on the ski slopes, I take.

Q: Do you have any advice for students?

A: “Trying your hardest and asking questions and advocating yourself is just a huge part in being successful. It’s not so much how smart you are, but how willing you are to learn. Teachers can always see that willingness to learn in students. Being able to speak up for yourself when struggling is half the battle.”

ms. Garo

Have a teacher in mind for December’s interview? Tell us here: Getting to Know Your Teachers Form