Feature stories

Three members, one opening day

Meet the educators

Anna Charland, pre-K teacher; PS 17, Astoria, Queens

Anna Charland, pre-K teacherMaria Bastone

Ready for anything. There are a lot of different feelings you feel the first day. You think only the children are anxious, but so are the adults! You don’t know what to expect or how the day is going to go, but you know you’ll always have one or two children who feel scared. I’ve had really good first days and then I’ve had really bad first days, where the first day was rough and every day after that for a month was rough.

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Vincent Dellatacoma, math teacher; New Dorp HS, Staten Island

Vicent Dellatocoma, math teacherBruce Cotler

A jumpstart to the year. The first day is such a tornado of a day. It’s fun because it’s a jump-start to the year, but you look forward to the part of the year when you’re in your rhythm again. The first challenge was that I had forgotten my computer password from the year before, so I had to run around looking for the tech guys to help me reset it. Then we spent the first two hours of the day meeting and greeting the freshmen at orientation. I hope to stay in this school for many years to come, so being in the auditorium with that many students and seeing the teachers I’ve worked with was a very family-like feeling. 

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Alain Metellus, social worker; New Utrecht HS, Brooklyn

Alain Metellus, social workerJonathan Fickies

I didn’t have a great night’s sleep the night before. I was tossing and turning. Not only was it the first day of school, but it was my first day at New Utrecht, so it was a double whammy. I was in the same District 75 school for 10 years where I went from being a para to a teacher to a dean to a social worker, so I’m used to my very small school of about a hundred kids and now you’re talking about thousands. It was probably the most anxious I’ve ever been in my life, and I’m not usually like that.

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