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Faculty Friday: Mrs. Maria Fata

Maria Fata

 

Pre-K3 Teacher

 

Education: B.S. in Psychology, Fordham University; Masters of Education, IONA College, PreK-Grade 6,. Certified (NYS) Childhood Education.

 

When did you join the GCS Family?

This is my first year at GCS, and this PreK 3 class is such a blessing to me. In the beginning of my career, I taught 5th and 6th grade in a Catholic school in NY,  but when I returned to work after having children, I wanted a more flexible schedule and I taught the 3s program at Christ Church for 12 years, and loved working with the younger age group.

 

How do you feel about your class’ progress this year?

When I think about how far this class has come, I’m extremely proud. The students arrive at GCS in September with different interests, abilities, and backgrounds, and throughout the year their social and academic progress is amazing. This year, the students have become more independent, learned to communicate and negotiate with peers, and improved their problem-solving skills.

 

Do you incorporate STEM into any of your PreK 3 lessons?

Absolutely - The students love “hands-on” STEM activities, and we have completed a number of projects this year. In our unit on Nursery Rhymes, we talked about Humpty Dumpty and the children built different types of wall structures to find out which would be strong enough to hold an egg. They love to see how things work and discover new ways to problem-solve as a group.

 

Does anything surprise you about this age group?

The class loves learning about manners. We incorporate math into our snack time, using number cards and counting as snacks are distributed. We ask that the children wait to eat until each child at their table has received their snack, and we talk to them about the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.”  We take time to listen and talk to one another and share during snack time. Parents appreciate that the values they are teaching at home are mirrored at school -- it shows the children that there is a partnership between their parents and their GCS teachers, which is a comfort for them.

 

What keeps you busy when you’re not at GCS?

I am a passionate supporter and Advisory Board member of the Emily Catherine Fedorko Foundation, which is a cause close to my heart. In my spare time, I love to read and cook, go to  NY Yankee games and when the weather is nice, go to Tod’s Point. I also love spending time with my husband and two children, Marisa and Nick.

I recently found out that as a Fordham alums , my husband and I can present our daughter’s diploma to her when she graduates from Fordham University in 2020. I will definitely need to have the tissues handy for that day!

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