Teacher of the Month: May 2022

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Drawing by Sylvia

By Mia Soret & Sadiqua Khan
Published June 04, 2022

Though the school year is slowly coming to an end, TYWLS students' love for their teachers isn’t! In this final month, students came together and put Sylvia to the first position spot for May's Teacher of the Month. Sylvia's students have proven that her role in their lives is eternal, as students ranging from 6-12th grade voted for her! Many of her voters described Sylvia as funny and helpful– her class being an entirely “different experience” for any student!

Sylvia's responses to our interview questions were completely heart-warming, as she expressed her gratitude for TYWLS and dedication to her students. We all know Sylvia's room is the place to go when you need a good book. Many TYWLS students have coined her to be the “librarian” of the school, always ready with book jokes and recommendations!

 
Teaching Style 
You might be surprised to learn that Sylvia discovered teaching by accident. She revealed she decided to pursue a Master’s degree with one more year of coursework in the education track. The chance to become an English teacher was perfect for her as she loved writing and reading when she was younger. When asked if there was any teacher that left an impact on her, Sylvia pointed out her own 8th and 9th-grade teachers. She explains how they were funny and encouraging, and how she strives to be like them (in our opinion, she seems to be successful!). 

We all know Sylvia for her books and sarcastic, dark humor. Sylvia describes herself to be funny but firm. She explains her childhood, noting that her parents believed education provided the road to success. Sylvia implemented this idea into her classroom, expressing her desire for her students to be successful in whatever they want to do in life. Sylvia admits she feels frustrated when students don’t take their work seriously as she did at their age. It seems to her that they’re getting in the way of their own success. It is Sylvia's dedication to her students that led her to be Mays’ Teacher of The Month.  
 
Sylvia and TYWLS
You may have seen Sylvia after school calling students for the many clubs she advises. Sylvia truly loves TYWLS, her responses prove so! She believes that it is the ideal school– through mastery-based learning, project-based learning, intensives, and more. She loved how excited students get about learning new, hard things, as well as our honest and unfiltered reactions and jokes. 

All TYWLS teachers are awesome, but Sylvia is truly known for her sarcasm and blunt humor. Sylvia reveals that people have said she's the person that says what others are too self-conscious to say. 

Sylvia's library has been established in heartfelt reasoning. She makes sure to attend 2 or more book events a year to get more books. For Sylvia, reading is one of the most important skills people need in order to navigate life. She, of course, is willing to haul a 50-pound suitcase filled with books down the escalators at Penn Station so that students can fall in love with reading. Sylvia definitely has a history of igniting love and passion for reading and writing, as she did for countless students!
 
To everyone who voted for Sylvia, here is what she had to say: “Thank you! I was so touched! I know I can be very dry and sarcastic, but I really do care about my students, so I’m glad they were able to  see through my prickly exterior.”

In a very Sylvia way, she ends her interview admitting she was secretly jealous of Tomas and Diana, previous TOTM winners, so now she doesn’t have to “plot their downfalls!”