Person of Interest – Mrs. Jones

Shes known for a good speech and her students are concerned about her intense love of math, but she has endless compassion for the kids she teaches.

She’s known for a good speech and her students are concerned about her intense love of math, but she has endless compassion for the kids she teaches.

Lorenzo Palazzari

She’s known for a good speech and her students are concerned about her intense love of math, but she has endless compassion for the kids she teaches.

What classes do you teach at Wauwatosa West?

I teach algebra, math emphasis, algebra two and pre-calculus.

How long have you been teaching?

This is my 11th year teaching so I’ve been teaching for 10 years. I taught at the Milwaukee Academy of Science for 7 years before coming to Tosa West.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching? 

The thing I enjoy most about teaching is meeting kids, watching them grow and develop, getting opportunities to build relationships with them and see their potential realized, and helping them make plans for the future. That’s my favorite part.

What do you dislike the most about teaching and why?

Little inconveniences can kind of get you down, kids not listening or initiatives from the district or something that maybe you don’t want to focus your time on as much. But when you bring it all back to that bigger picture of helping kids and meeting kids and getting to meet new people and experience their joys, then it’s all worth it.

What is your favorite hobby outside of teaching and why? 

Outside of teaching, I love to watch trash TV, like The Bachelor and Selling Sunset. I love spending time with my family and just hanging out, going out to eat and going to the beach.

What made you want to become a teacher?

When I was in school, I always had a natural ability for math, but I was never encouraged in it so I wasn’t a great student. I always got decent grades but was never pushed or made to feel like I could accomplish something great. So I wanted to have that as my motivation to give to kids and my drive to let everyone know that they are capable of doing and having a chance to succeed in whatever they want to do.

If you weren’t a teacher right now, what would you be doing and why? 

I would stay home with my kids and get them out and take care of them all day. We would go places and see stuff. But I really love to learn new things and keep my brain stimulated. 

What is the most stressful part about teaching and why?

The stressful part about teaching is that you have the chance to have a really big impact on someone. You don’t ever want to let a kid kind of fall through the cracks. It’s a lot of pressure.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

Austin, Texas because I wouldn’t have to deal with winters and it’s still a cool urban city with a lot of natural beauty but also a lot of fun. 

What is your favorite movie and why?

My favorite movie is the Lindsay Lohan’s Parent Trap because it makes me nostalgic for being a kid and going to summer camp. Also it’s hilarious, cheesy and dramatic. 

Are you close with any other teachers?

I think we’re all pretty close, especially as a math department. We spend a lot of time together and we debrief The Bachelor. We also will get together outside of school and hang out. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a teacher?

I would give the advice that no matter what’s thrown at you, what course load you’re given or what school you’re at, to always remember that everything boils down to students and all students are capable of succeeding.

How would your students describe you?

Probably way too interested in math, kind of strange in that sense. But I care about them and I want them to succeed.

If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would you say and why?

I would say spend some time thinking about what you like and what you enjoy doing and you can do anything. So set your mind to it and you will succeed.

How do you handle class disruptions while you’re teaching?

I give a stare. Although it’s less dramatic with a face mask on. Also I can be known to give a good speech. 

Who did you look up to when you were a kid and why?

I’ve always looked up to my mom because she is a hard worker. She still works and she always works for bettering the lives of people. And she just has endless knowledge. I feel like I can ask her anything and she always knows an answer.

What is your biggest pet peeve as a teacher and why?

Right now it would be cell phones. I know the experience of having a cell phone and you can definitely get addicted to it and then you realize that you’ve been on it for an hour. But it does get in the way of teaching.

What advice would you give your graduating seniors?

I would say if you know what you want to do, go for it and work hard. And if that changes, you can always adjust. If you don’t know what you want to do that is totally normal and explore all your options. Keep your options open. Try different things and believe in yourself. Because you guys will be fine.