Maria Eugenia Morton-Comer, Full-time Teacher in Paterson Public Schools states:
"I love everybody and I have had a great journey with all of you. However, I am so happy to see the light. It's almost over! I will definitely do some back flips :) i have to thank GOD for all the strength he gave me to endure this crazy life these past 18 months. I am most thankful for the lasting friendships and strong bonds I have developed with some of my colleagues. I have had some crazy good times, I have laughed a great deal and was even close to crying once or twice. So, this experience has been a roller coaster, very scary at times, especially while navigating new territories. I have enjoyed some classes more than others. The modules have been very practical and useful to me as a new teacher. I am a practical person so I appreciate that a lot more than learning useless theories. I am completely satisfied with my decision to join the New Vistas Program. I love my new life and new career. Thank you for accepting me into the program. Best of luck to everyone and let's continue!"
Dalina Notaro, Full-time teacher in Passaic Public Schools states:
" Wow! Where can I start? New Vistas has been a very challenging experience to me. I have learned many important concepts needed to embark in this journey of teaching that I will take with me in my continuous effort to become a better teacher. I will take the training and advice from my professors, the support from the grant administrators during the interview process and the support and encouraging words from my colleagues and friends from Cohort 2. thank you for all the heart lifting words during those difficult times when I though i was not going to make it. Thank you for the laughs and hopes shared when we realize it is going to be just fine (because there is always light at the end of the tunnel). i will take with me the confidence the program has made me realize i possess. These 18 months have not been easy (just like anything worth fighting for is, not easy) but I will definitely take with me an amazing experience that has made me explore my potential and know that I have what it takes to touch the lives of many children who need us so very much. Thank you all!
Loretta Brown, Full-time Teacher in Teaneck Public Schools states:
"As my New Vistas experience comes to an end, my career as a teacher is beginning! It feels good to be able to say that since I began this career change six years ago. Finding the New Vistas program was the best part. the support Marie and Johanna gave us was incredible. And bonding with the others in the cohort was invaluable. Before New Vistas I was making my way alone, not always sure I was doing it right. however, in the past eighteen months I have felt part of a team and have gained a lot of support and motivation from the leaders and my colleagues. The classes and the workshops have given me a wealth of knowledge and the professors have become a great resource and connection to the education industry. But, in the end, it will be the confidence I have gained to be a teacher that I will be most grateful from this experience. Good luck to all!"
Cynthia Frazier, Full-time Teacher's Assistant in Rutherford Public Schools, states:
"The past eighteen months have been an eye opening experience as I learned about the qualities and knowledge needed to be an effective teacher along with the many strategies and concepts about teaching. I was immediately exposed to the art of 'multitasking' in terms of working full time, completing course work for the modules and graduate program, and taking care of my family. This is the workload I can expect when I have my first teaching position. I now understand that importance of being extremely organized and prioritizing in order to perform to best of my ability each day.
The New Vistas Program has given me the teaching tools i need to face the front of the classroom, namely writing an interesting lesson plan, differentiating, scaffolding, problem-based learning, charting from pre-assessment to post assessment, and using my experiences from my observations in Paterson. Eastside High School in Paterson gave me an inside look at working in an urban classroom. Most importantly, I will take with me all I have learned from discussions with my peers and from the famous 'boot camp' lessons. I now know that being a teacher is the most difficult, yet rewarding job a person can experience. To be a successful teacher it is imperative to 'know your learners'--their strengths, backgrounds, and learning styles--so that I can help guide each of them to their individual success in school and in life.
I have found inspiration through the modules and especially with the knowledge I have shared with my Cohort II colleagues. Everyone has an enlightening story to tell about their journey to fulfill their dream of becoming a teacher. Each person was driven to learn as much as possible about being a teacher, showed great compassion for the teaching profession, and imparted to me the confidence and assurance that I, too, will be hired as a teacher."
Michael Harmon, Full-time Teacher in Passaic Public Schools states:
"There are so many things I could write here. On the educational side of things, I am taking away the numerous methods and techniques provided for teaching all subject matter. Each and every subject, regardless of content, can be taught in so many ways and still be effective all while avoiding 'drill and kill' which I prefer as a student and a future educator. In addition, a new found understanding of embracing differences amidst a classroom and it's students. In regards to real life, I am impressed with the ability of my colleagues and myself to persevere and to not only complete all the work but to excel throughout this whole process. Good show, folks!"
Nelly Orosco, Full-time Teacher's Aide in Passaic Public Schools states:
"First of all, I would like to express my feelings of being thankful to the New Vistas Program because this program has given me the opportunity to be an elementary bilingual teacher. I found this program 18 months ago when i worked in a second grade class and I was enable to suggest changes in this classroom because of my position as paraprofessional. Being accepted in this program was one of the rewarding things as is teaching for me. But at the beginning of the program I had difficulties because New Vistas was almost a full time student program. I have a full time job and I also had a part time job due to family issues. all of those issues made it tough to perform as a student to my full potential. In addition, English is my second language, so it made it harder to accomplish my goal that I am trying to reach, completing this program. Since I have taken classes in the New Vistas Program at WPU, I have improved my strategies in teaching and I feel that I became one of the knowledgeable paraprofessionals who are better able to serve the district of Passaic in the educational field. Therefore, I hope to become a great elementary bilingual teacher and let everyone know that the New Vistas Program at WPUNJ is on of the best institutions preparing teachers in New Jersey."