As educators, we provide knowledge by sharing stories. But the process of teaching yields some of the greatest stories of all. We'd like to invite you to share your story about how public media has had a positive impact in the classroom.
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Angela Guiffreda

Brooklyn

Twenty four years ago, I was a new teacher in the NYC Department of Education’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. I struggled to get my kindergarten students to grasp concepts I was teaching. Most did not have any language skills. American Sign Language was not used at home, so many just pointed around my room to make themselves understood. I felt like I was playing a game of charades all day.

One day, during one of my graduate classes at Hunter College, someone came in to talk about “WNET’s National Teacher Training Institute”. This was a 4 day program over the summer to learn how to record (VHS) educational television programs and how to present lessons using visual technology. After attending, I wrote a grant to get money to buy televisions with VHS capabilities. I recorded shows through the night and built up quite a large video library. I applied for an award and won $4000 for “Excellence in Teaching Science” and quickly bought 3 tvs for our school classrooms.

I happily wrote a thank you note to the presenters at NTTI as my teaching had changed significantly! No more charades! I could take my students on a trip into a volcano or show how a snowflake is made close-up. I was then invited to become a “Master Teacher” and now i present my methodology of using technology in the classroom. I am also on the Educational Services Advisory Committee at Thirteen.

I no longer teach deaf children, sadly, and the technology has advanced significantly since the days of setting up my VCR. Now I teach science to preK-2nd graders and use PBS LearningMedia daily to enhance my lessons, shown on my Smartboard. I am still “Ms Frizzle” taking my students on journeys outside their neighborhoods to places many would never visit first hand.