Malden High has just recently welcomed a new PACE teacher, Elizabeth Lee. Despite this being her first year having her own classroom to call her own, she is familiar with the Malden community. Prior to obtaining this position at Malden High, for the past four years she worked as a paraprofessional at the Ferryway and Salemwood middle schools.
Lee grew up in Upstate New York and while she still lived there went to get her Bachelor’s degree in General Education in grades 1-6. Then she came to Massachusetts where she got her teaching license. She attended Simmons University to get her Special Education degree, which she received last May.
Ron Janowicz, who supervises Lee, was blown away by her interview, saying how he was so “impressed and knew that she was perfect for this position and that it was an easy call to make.” He describes her as “caring and kind.” He continues to add that she is considerate of her students needs and makes it her mission to make sure each student receives the best education possible.” He says that her presence at Malden High makes “[his] job easier because [he] feels at ease knowing that [he] has such an excellent teacher on board who is great with paperwork.” He continues to say that she is a “top-notch teacher, who makes sure to get her job done and knows exactly what is expected of her.''
Sarah Kaleko, who is a co-worker of Elizabeth Lee describes her as caring, energetic, and thoughtful. Sarah Kaleko who is also a current new teacher says “it is nice to have another teacher who is going through the same process as [her] and they have been able to figure things out together.”
What Lee loves most about teaching is being able to form a connection with her students, which she believes necessary to allow students to be able to express themselves: whether it is the artwork they create, their choice of words, or how they choose to display their work. She believes the qualities that make her an excellent teacher are having patience, empathy, being “strict but not too strict” and being exciting.
Sometimes it may be difficult to get students to be engaged in class, but Lee has methods to get her students ready for class. As soon as class begins she will use an activity that captures the students attention: she may play a video, put on a performance, or give her students an incentive to be motivated to work, and reward them with a movie at the end of the week. Her favorite subject to teach is ELA, due to her love for reading and writing.
Lee is able to prepare students for life after High School by teaching her students work skills, visiting jobs weekly, giving students classroom jobs so they learn responsibility, and as a class they are able to practice cooking, which allows students to learn about different tools in the kitchen and new recipes. Also as a class they go to work skill classes every week.
For this upcoming school year Lee is excited to have her own class and to be a teacher for the first time. She is eager to be a part of the Malden community and can not wait to get to know her students better.