On the Prowl for the Truth




Teacher Profile: Mrs. Krawczyk

Courtesy: Facebook/Independence H.S.
File photo May 2020

Q: What is your name and subject you teach? 

A: My name is Cassie Profe Shulman or Profe Krawczyk and I teach Spanish two and three.

Q: What is your favorite part or memory when you lived in Spain?

A: It’s been so many years now a lot of it kind of blurs together but what I really love when I lived in Spain was the friends that I made with the staff there. Some of them even let me into their homes and would invite me over for lunch and we would sit around their table.  One memory in particular was in the winter there they put like this heater in the middle of the table and put your foot blanket or the tablecloth over your legs and so you just sit around the table and chatting and take the train back to the city. It was just so nice to be a part of people’s everyday lives, I didn’t feel like a tourist, so that was really special. Then they also took me on lot of  field trips that the students were going on and so I got to experience a lot of things that I wouldn’t have otherwise like, touristy things,  as well as the educational things we learned and saw within the nature reserve, we  also went to some good Roman ruins that were in this small town not far from where the school was, where I taught. So just things like that, end up being the memories that are really special. 

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Q: What was your journey through 11 years of teaching? What was the process?

A:  I went to school, not to become a teacher. My undergrad is in English for my non Hispanic studies. Then post college I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do. So I became a teaching assistant for ESOL,  English for Speakers of Other Languages, and I enjoyed that work so I turned to Colbert to learn more and I ended up going to George Mason for a master’s in curriculum and instruction which focused on English for Speakers of Other Languages. So that’s kind of how that happened here. I was that typical English major, I just didn’t know quite what I wanted to do. Everyone had always said I was such a good teacher so I was like, ‘I’m not going to do that,’ because everyone was telling me that and then I was like, Okay, I like it. I’m gonna try. 

Q: Who inspired you to be a teacher? 

A: My family has a lot of history with education. My grandmother was a member of the school board for my mom and her siblings. My mom ended up going back to school and getting her teaching license when I was in college, so seeing them and talking with them was kind of inspiring. Those are some of the older women in my life who were role models.

Q: How was your first year teaching? How was it intimidating? 

A: My first year teaching was one of the craziest things. I was on a provisional license. Because I hadn’t finished my degree yet, and so I was working in a school where I was teaching students who had moved to the United States English class, it was part of our program, and I was preparing 13 lessons per week. Typically as a teacher here at Independence, they have two different classes. We had maybe six. So I was preparing like double that every week and I got really burned out. I ended up having to advocate for myself because I was learning in school to lessen my load and by having the teacher come in and kind of just have half days and split the work because it was too much.

Q:Is there a difference or what is the difference between teaching Spanish one and two versus three and four? 

A: What is different between levels one and two and then the upper levels is in levels one or two, you see growth sometimes quicker because there’s less prior knowledge. So that can be really exciting to witness that growth in students. Then, in level three and level four, the subject matter can get more complex because students can understand more. But you often also see more frustration because it is often where students kind of plateau because their brain is processing and learning all these new things. So that is one of  the main differences I see. Both are equally joyful because you still see strides being made and lots of connections being made, but it’s just different.

Q: Is there a certain level of spanish you prefer to teach?

A: Honestly, I like having a mix. What I like right now about my schedule is that I have level twos and threes so I’m starting to see that divide. I like having a level one or level two and then one of the higher levels because it reminds me of where students are so I can be more empathetic and keep that in mind as I’m planning, as opposed to just a small upper level.

Q:  What are your favorite “little moments” when teaching?

A: I love it when random things go wrong. They make good stories and  it becomes things that we can laugh about. I like it when everyone in the class is kind of like a part of a moment and we all kind of just experience it together. That’s lovely. And then, like students have their aha moments at different times, but anytime a student starts to say or feel like ‘oh, like I got this’ or ‘I can do this’ or ‘Wow I did better than I thought’. All of those are really lovely.

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About the Contributor
Kieran Rhoton
Kieran Rhoton, Junior Staff Writer
Kieran Rhoton is a freshman at Independence High School. She is from Virginia but has lived in many countries overseas throughout her life. During her time outside of school, most of her time is spent playing volleyball for the varsity team at Independence. Along with the school team, Kieran plays volleyball in a club called Metro. Besides sports, Kieran has a lot of artistic talent. She enjoys many forms of makeup, but the one that stands out is her love for special effects makeup. She enjoys making realistic cuts and holes on her hand to create an illusion. A type of writing that interests her is poetry, but wants to branch out. When writing articles, Kieran wants to focus mainly on sports and potentially features. Her goal in this class is to learn and explore more of the Independence spirit.