Teacher of the TermTerm 3, 2017
Jane Malatesta is as creative and versatile as they come. She possesses a unique desire to make the most of her time with students, exploring every possibility to provide a successful experience for them. Jane works tirelessly to find just the right tool or resource to help her students. If it isn’t available, or she can’t find it, she’ll create it. Students appreciate Jane’s hands-on approach and find her comfortable and inspiring to work with. A shared ESOL/ABE-GED student says of Jane, “She always has time for me. She will stay with me until I understand.” This is a common refrain among those students fortunate to work with Jane. She expects the same degree of persistence from her students. She is tough, in a positive way, pushing students beyond their comfort zones. If she is making the investment in you, she expects you will do the same. Students rise to this expectation. They do not want to let her down.
As an ABE/GED teacher, Jane has the opportunity to work with ESOL students who also pursue that track. As she has gotten to know these students, and their needs, Jane has taken the initiative to implement two programs specifically for them. One is a conversation class that meets weekly at the end of the ESOL school day. Although it is voluntary, students eagerly anticipate it and attend diligently. Jane is well-prepared with diverse and global topics. I recently noticed, when speaking with one of our students, how much her pronunciation and fluency had improved. She quickly responded, “It’s because of Miss Jane’s conversation class! I love it!”
On another afternoon, Jane facilitates a lab for beginning students to work on Rosetta Stone. She started in the smaller of our two labs with 10 computers, but the opportunity became so popular that we have moved to the larger lab with twice as many. Every station is always filled! The results of this additional support for students has been significant. They demonstrate more confidence in their speaking and teachers have noted that students’ listening skills have improved.
Jane Malatesta is a long-retired educator who, by choice, continues to give her time, talent, and wealth of knowledge to students. She welcomes the challenge they bring and relishes their successes. At the same time, Jane enjoys the personal opportunity to grow as the life-long learner that she is.