Teacher Spotlight: Meet Mary Bannon, Otisville Elementary fourth-grade teacher

Teacher spotlight artwork

Mary BannonThis week’s profile is the final Teacher Spotlight for the 2020-21 school year. 

Meet Mary Bannon, Otisville Elementary fourth-grade teacher!

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?

A favorite aspect of my job is the fact that it is brand new every single day!  The student that finally “gets it,” the student that put himself/herself before others, kind words said in times of need, compassion for each other in the classroom and out, encouragement when a student is feeling down, cheering for a classmate getting his/her first hit in a game, a student discovers partial product really does work!  The list goes on!  The students have provided me with many, many favorites throughout my 20 plus years here at Minisink Valley.

Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?

Not only do I believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District, I live it!  The foundational blocks of my education were here at Minisink Valley.  I have been through our wonderful school system with so much encouragement and support from my neighbors, parents,and especially Minisink teachers.  I chose to spend my adult years here in the Minisink district where I have continued to put down roots with the knowledge that my children would someday attend, in my eyes, one of the most wonderful experiences of their lives!

I am also a member of our community where I have gotten to know many members as parents and friends.  There is a sense of a strong community here.  My family has been able to experience, first hand, many community events through sports, drama club, band, and more.  Working at a concession stand for the Little League or a bake sale at the school play I have been able to experience how much pride and support this community has to offer!

How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?

Ahh, the pandemic!  I have the pleasure of working with such knowledgeable colleagues.  We plan lessons, collaborate together, use our creativity collectively while overcoming the virtually challenging piece of our teaching jobs.  Open minds, open hearts, and daily encouragement from my colleagues has been a tremendous help to make meaningful lessons which not only focus on in-person and virtual academics, but also the potentially fragile mindfulness of each and every student’s mental health.

What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work?  

As a parent and a teacher, I would like the community to know our work (yours and mine) is never completed.  There are always questions being asked, news to follow, and minds to mold. Continue making curiosity and questioning a priority.  Continue expecting the best version of each individual child.  Continue making learning a priority as it is never ending. I know I am never giving up! Thank all of you for trusting in me that I will continue to teach, expect excellence and remind all of my students that “mistakes are proof you are trying!”