Teacher Institute Q & A: Jessica Tufillaro


What did you expect going into the Teacher Institute? How was your experience the same/different from your expectations?

Going into the Teacher Institute I expected to be in way over my head! I thought there was no way I could rise to the bar and wasn’t sure just why I was picked! My experience was TOTALLY different than I expected. I was hired on as an educator to collaborate with Curriculum Pathways in many ways. I was treated as an expert in the field and as an equal on the team. It’s actually incredible how much the experience did for my self esteem.

What skills did you acquire during your summer with Curriculum Pathways?

I acquired so many skills during my time with Curriculum Pathways. I truly learned what it means to collaborate at work. I was able to overcome my fear of public speaking and find my voice. I now believe in myself in ways I never did before. I even know how to go through the process of writing a blog for publication. But as mentioned first, my BIGGEST take away from working with Curriculum Pathways was truly learning how to work and collaborate with other colleagues.

How has the Teacher Institute impacted your classroom/teaching?

First and foremost, participating in the institute really renewed my love and passion for teaching. Often times teachers go unappreciated — and sometimes we begin to truly feel that way. Participating in the Teacher Institute helped me find my teaching voice again and made me feel valued as an educator. As a result of this experience, I feel invigorated to take more “risks” in the classroom and also to believe in myself more. To sum it up, the experience made me believe in myself as an educator and has allowed me to try new things I probably wouldn’t have tried before!

Tell us a funny/memorable moment.

OMG sooo many!! I think my most memorable moments, believe it or not, were my daily walks with another institute teacher around the lake that backs up to the hotel on the SAS campus. I was able to talk with and collaborate with my institute friends and these conversations helped me grow in my profession. I enjoyed the walks not only because I was allowed to take them during work hours, but because SAS actually encourages mindfulness activities like that.

How did you feel on your first day?

The first day was a little of “I can’t believe I’m going to spend 8 weeks working at SAS with this amazing group of people!” along with “How am I going to do all this in 8 weeks?”

Sum up the Teacher Institute in ONE WORD.


Want to join the 2019 Curriculum Pathways Teacher Institute? Applications are now open! 


About Author

Ralph Moore

Ralph Moore coordinates and conducts professional development for Curriculum Pathways. He works with schools and organizations around the country and has presented at conferences for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. A former army officer and social studies teacher, he spent 10 years on the Curriculum Pathways humanities team creating new digital curriculum products.

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