Courtesy of Brielle Lampf ('23)
Ms. Stefania Shjarback, East’s newest English teacher, says she is finally settling into the East environment and is looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year.
Ms. Shjarback has taught in two different timezones in has eight years of teaching. Prior to working at East, she has taught on the Jersey Shore as well as in Texas. The first five years of her career were spent down the shore teaching high school until she decided to pack up and teach in El Paso, Texas. Now, she is excited to be living her next adventure teaching at East.
Ms. Shjarback decided she wanted to be a high school English teacher in her senior year of high school. Her English teacher had made such an impact on her that it made her want to teach English, too.
“She was super passionate and really fun. She felt less like a teacher and more like a scholar and she made us feel that way,” said Shjarback of her English teacher. After a senior year spent learning from and connecting with her teacher, Ms. Shjarback knew that going into teaching was the right choice for her.
English has always drawn her attention for many reasons, but one of her favorite aspects of the subject is how subjective it is. She realizes that while her students might not like it because they may find that it is not black and white, she loves that it’s not. Ms. Shjarback points out that a piece of text can be interpreted in so many different ways and you can always dive deeper. Also, she loves how it is a way to connect with her students.
“English lends itself to getting to know students a little bit more than other subjects,” she said.
Not only was teaching English the right choice for her, but 12th grade is also the grade she feels that it is the best fit for her. Ms. Shjarback enjoys teaching high school because she loves how the student-teacher relationship is so open and the teacher can have a conversation with their students freely. Teaching younger students would not be the right fit she explains.
“If I had to also teach students how to tie their shoes, I feel like that would be extra hard,” she said.
Her only goals right now are to make sure her students are ready for their futures. As a teacher, all she wants is for her students to feel like they’re ready for the next stage. She teaches both juniors and seniors and wants all of her students to feel ready for whatever may come next, whether that be their senior year of high school, or starting college.
So far at East, Ms. Shjarback has gone to the Senior Sunrise but plans to become even more involved as time goes on. She plans on getting involved in the National English Society and perhaps joining student government and theatre next year or maybe late this year. She has always been a theater kid and would love to see what productions East has to offer. She cannot wait to see what is in store for her and the students at East.