NJ Teachers’ Lounge is excited to continue its Teachers of New Jersey series in 2017. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the series, it now comes out twice a month. This editorial series is curated by photojournalist, Gregory Andrus, creator of the social media series, Portraits of the Jersey Shore. These stories highlight the joys, struggles, and personal reflections that surround being a teacher.

“I am a 3rd-grade teacher. I feel I appeal more to the young ones. They are more interested, more open than, say, the middle-schoolers, and I have a lot of fun with them. I come from a very big family, and I always knew I wanted to teach ever since I was a little kid and I played with my brothers and sisters. I am in my 9th year of teaching already.”

“The one downfall is that there is always a lot of work to bring home. I often have to work on weeknights, weekends, and holidays, but it’s okay, because it’s for the kids. If you are not putting in the effort, the kids and parents notice that, and to be honest, I always want to do the best job possible for my students.”

“I now have kids who have special needs in my class that have been mainstreamed. I have had the “inclusion class” for about five years now. It is challenging to make sure I am reaching all of the kids with all of the different learning styles and abilities, but it is very rewarding when I see that I am reaching them with what I teach. It is so great to see the kids of all different levels work together and help each other in the classroom. For example, I may have a shy kid pair him or her with someone who will bring them out of their shell for a project, and it really works well.”

“I love what I do. Just seeing the kids get it, and see their smile, it makes all of the work I do worth it. I can honestly never see myself doing anything but teaching grade schoolers. I really can’t see myself doing anything else. I love it.”

-Oak Tree Elementary School, Monroe Twp.

What third grade teacher inspired you? Or is doing good for their community? Let us know in the comments!

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