Teacher Spotlight: Barbara Murawski
Name: Barbara Murawski
I was born in New York and have 2 older twin brothers. Most of my elementary years were spent in California but, by the age of 10, my family settled in Stamford. I earned my BA Degree from Curry College in MA and my Masters from Sacred Heart University. My first teaching job was in Stamford from 1983-1985 in both 2nd & 3rd grade; I had 32 students in both classes. I was working 3 jobs to survive, and that prompted me to leave teaching for a few years in favor of the corporate world. But, I found my way back to my #1 career, landed at Marvin 31 years ago and am celebrating my 30th year in Room B2 … and am right at home.
What do you love about teaching 1st grade?
How can I not love teaching 1st grade? The children love to come to school & are excited to learn. We are laying the foundation & helping them develop a love of learning. For me, there is no better feeling than when it “clicks” for a child and, for me, that happens daily. You can tell by their smiles and the light in their eyes that makes you know you helped them. In 1st grade, you need ENERGY… and that keeps me going. You must be on every minute of the day. I also love the stories they tell & listening to their views on what’s going on around them. My day is full of enthusiasm, accepting ideas & experiencing new things. And, it’s not only about the students. A workplace “rocks” when you have a collaborative team that relies on each other and shares with each other, and that’s 1st grade at Marvin.
Teachers are the frontline workers for our children in this pandemic. What has been your biggest challenge or adjustment this year?
I think my biggest challenge/adjustment this year has been learning the new technology & applying what I have learned. An even greater challenge has been teaching in 2 rooms at once, so thank goodness for Mrs. Bosworth. She is top notch in my book. Despite the fact that 1st grade looks very different this year, it is still a good learning environment. Though, I do miss coming together on the rug and reading & instructing in a small group and I miss how my students would work together in groups and learn from each other.
What is your biggest motivation this year and what are you most proud of?
The students motivate me to want to be in school despite the challenges. I am proud when they come in with masks on and are smiling & eager to be in the room and share their stories from home. They NEVER complain about wearing a mask & just handle it like champs. I will say that, in September, I did have my doubts. And even though it is a struggle, they acclimate more everyday – like becoming more cognizant of trying to keep 6 feet apart. My 3 sons are older, and I wonder if they would be so resilient in this situation. To wrap it up, they are learning in a challenging environment & enjoying class…that is what it is all about!
Again, the biggest motivator to come in during a pandemic is working with my FABULOUS First Grade Team. I couldn’t do it without Mrs. Lamb, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Faulkner, Mrs. Bosworth & Mrs. Kelly. We all work together well and it makes our job more enjoyable.
Why did you become a teacher?
I always wanted to be a teacher. I remember watching my elementary teachers and picturing myself teaching. In fact, we have a couple of generations of teachers in my family and my vision was validated when I visited my great aunt in New York in her classroom. That incented me to volunteer at various centers for children in high school and helped seal the deal - teaching was my calling!
A Fun fact About me!
As an elementary school student in California, my neighbor was Joan Blondell - an aging but famous actress at the time – who paid me 10-cents a bag to carry her groceries in for her. My first brush with fame in LA😉
What we love about Mrs. Murawski!
“Mrs. Murawski has mastered the art of teaching not only in the classroom, but online too! We love her fun and energetic attitude and she truly cares for her students. During this trying time, we truly consider ourselves fortunate to have her as a teacher.”
– Lisa DeLuise, Marvin parent
“Mrs. Murawski is a nice teacher and she makes school fun. I am a scientist so I know a lot of things already.”
– Benny DeLuise, current student
“Mrs. Murawski is an amazing teacher and she genuinely loved her students and my youngest, Harriet, adored her!”
– Rachel Strabley, former Marvin parent