Being a Teacher is a Passion and a Life Goal

As a student, and seeing how students behave, it can be difficult to imagine why someone would want to become a teacher.  We see them being harassed by our classmates, working hard hours, and then having to take home yet more papers and exams to grade.  However, for some people, becoming a teacher or administrator is a passion, and a life goal.

For Mr. Zaleski, a LCJSMS physical educator, motivation struck closer to home.  As his father was a gym teacher, he stated that he felt he was “essentially, joining the family business.”  Mr. Parks, the assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, said, “I want to make sure that instructional strategies being applied throughout the building are as current and effective as possible.  I have good memories of my own schooling and want to recreate the good experience so other students can enjoy these years as much as I did.”  Mr. Heaney said, “I wanted to help kids make the most of situations and learn about cause and effects, and help shape kids to make smart decisions and learn from their mistakes. . . I would love to do middle school and high school again.  I definitely didn’t work hard enough, and now I realize that it does affect your future and you don’t get second chances, and I know my mom would be proud to hear me say this.”

For Mr. Breivogel, an eighth grade math teacher, his childhood dream was to become a teacher, and he became a math teacher because that was his area of expertise.  Some of the students here at LCJSMS had similar interests when they were young, but for all of them, these interests have dissipated.  One such student, Kaitlin S., said that she decided she didn’t want to teach, because she didn’t want to have to grade tests and papers all the time.    Alex M. wanted to be a Spanish teacher, but changed her mind when she began taking a Spanish class in elementary school.  Eighth grader Lucy W. said she wanted to be a teacher because she thought playing school was fun, but that she changed her mind, because she now thinks teaching would be boring.  Alex S. said that she wanted to teach because her favorite teacher told her she would make a really good teacher.  When asked why she changed her mind, she said “Because after going to school for so long, I don’t want to go to school any more.”  According to Ariana T., “It would be hard to try to teach kids that don’t want to learn.”

Sign Up for E-News

Mr Mazouat is a substitute for Mrs. Rodriguez while she is on maternity leave.  When asked whether he likes teaching in Summit or not, he said, “Yes, the children are for the most part nice and well-behaved.”  He previously student-taught at an inner-city middle school. “They’re very different.  The kids here and there all had a very different set of advantages and disadvantages. . . Students that grow up used to doing something will not be as good at other things. Students who grow up singing or drawing will be better at singing or drawing all their lives.”

All these high expectations can be hard to manage.  We asked some teachers whether they felt they have achieved their goal.  Mr. Heaney, whose goal was stated above, said “For some kids I have.  Moreso when I was teaching, because it’s harder as an administrator. . . I’m lucky to not be one of those people who goes home every day and goes, ‘I hate my job.’ because I know a lot of my friends do that.”  Mr. Breivogel, when asked whether or not he would, knowing all about the teaching industry that he knows now, choose to become a teacher, said, “I don’t know.  Probably yes, but reluctantly. Because financially it’s not as easy anymore.”  When asked their dream careers, the answers varied.  For Mr. Breivogel, he would ideally be a professional golfer; amid jokes and laughter, Mr. Heaney announced that he wants to be a sports announcer, and Mr. Parks professed his desire to be a professional video-game tester.

Megan McKenzie is a student at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School and is writing this column as part of a class assignment.

LCJSMS Panther Pulse is a column written by students in the Digital Media program at Summit Middle School. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, February 20, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Mother Goose

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education


Tue, February 20, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Mother Goose

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education


Tue, February 20, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Family STEAM Club

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education

Summit Fire Department Blotter

12/16/17 7:42 am     FD dispatched to DE FOREST AVENUE and MAPLE STREET for a strong odor of natural gas in area. On arrival found an outside odor of natural gas. PSEG was requested and responded to the scene. Readings of 7% natural gas were found in the manholes in the center of the intersection. CVS was checked and zero readings for natural gas were found. Summit FD was released ...

Summit Police Blotter

February 12, 2018

2/1 - At 0955 hours a report was taken for a theft of a street sign. The unlawful incident occurred between an unknown time frame on Pine Grove Avenue. Value of the street sign was not immediately available at the time of the report.

2/5 - Roberto C. Noel-Berman, 23, of Summit was arrested and charged with possession of CDS. Mr. Noel-Berman was released with a pending court date.

2/5 - ...

Assistance Programs Available for JCP&L Customers to Help with Winter Heating Bills

February 16, 2018

As the cold weather continues, financial assistance programs are available for Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) customers who need help with winter heating bills.

Assistance to qualifying JCP&L customers is available through the Lifeline, Universal Service Fund (USF), Weatherization, Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) and New Jersey SHARES programs.

Lifeline ...

Video: Point View's Deitze Tell CNBC Fed is 'On Track' for March Rate Hike

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on CNBC on how to position your portfolio despite more volatility:

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Doing Well While Doing Good

The new tax law is predicted to reduce significantly the number of taxpayers who itemize deductions.  That has some concerned about charitable giving. There are ways for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions to give to charity and still receive some tax benefits.

Give from your IRA. Those aged 70-1/2 or older, who must take required minimum distributions from retirement accounts, can ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

Movies! Movies! Movies! - Three Ways to Enjoy Movies

Most people who use the Summit Free Public Library are familiar with our video collection: thousands of DVDs and nearly 800 BluRays -- and growing!

In addition to recent box-office hits and Hollywood classics, we have foreign films, anime, and musical performances from Aida to ZZ Top. Binge-watch a must-see TV series, discover a new one, or introduce your kids to your childhood ...