Teacher Spotlight: Vida Ekstrom
Star Teacher Profile:
Name: Vida Ekstrom
I attended Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven for my degree in Upper Elementary Education. I went back to Southern to get my Master's Degree in Education.
How long have you been teaching?
I started my teaching career at Our Lady of Assumption School in Fairfield. I taught fourth grade for 4 years before moving to Marvin. One of my students was Mrs. Cassandra Perrone who worked here at Marvin as our ESL teacher and now is working at the Welcoming Center in Central Office. I began teaching at Marvin in 1992 in third grade. I taught third grade for 18 years, then taught fourth grade, where I am currently teaching. This year is my 33rd year of teaching and I still LOVE what I do.
What do you love about teaching 4th grade?
What I love about fourth grade is all the NEW learning that we do in fourth grade. I also love that every day is different.
What is your favorite subject or lesson to teach?
My favorite subject to teach is math. I think Math is fun. Yes, sometimes it is hard, but it is also rewarding when the lightbulb goes off and my students get the concept.
Who inspired you to become a teacher?
My Dad inspired me to become a teacher. He taught physical education for 35 years at Brookside Elementary School here in Norwalk. On my days off, I would come to school with him and spend the day with him in school. I thought it was the best.
A fun fact about you!
I am 100% Lithuanian. Both of my parents were born in Lithuanian and came to America when they were in elementary school and did not speak any English.
Also, in this picture with me is my daughter, Alexa.
We know how hard teachers are working in this unprecedented year. What has been your biggest learning this year?
My biggest take away for this year is that the kids do really want to be in school. They love being together, even 6 feet away. It isn't always easy following all the new rules and protocol, but they are doing amazingly well and I can even see them smiling through their masks. Hearing the kids laugh and seeing them smile, is one of the reasons why I wanted to be a teacher.
Thank you, Mrs. Ekstrom, for ALL you do for our Marvin students!
Why we love Mrs. Ekstrom!
“Mrs. Ekstrom is a wonderful 4th grade teacher. A teacher who cares about her students’ progress by enforcing the learning of all necessary basic skills. I mostly appreciate the time she took to work with us to continue improving Katerina's confidence. Then, school was closed due to COVID, and regardless of the enormous number of issues and mixed emotions, Mrs. Ekstrom never stop carrying for her students. She did the best with what was available to her through the end the year in the best possible way and for that I will always appreciate her.” - Luisa Kleftogiannis, Marvin parent
“Mrs. Ekstrom helped me to learn to speak for myself. She helped me to understand that sometimes I need to ask for help when I am learning something new. Thank you, Mrs. Ekstrom!” - Katerina Kleftogiannis, former student
“I had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Ekstrom as my daughter's 4th grade teacher. She guided us in distance learning during the pandemic, always available to both parents and students. She is a dedicated teacher and demands the best from her students. She stays in contact with her students even when they are no longer in her classroom. Thank you, Mrs. Ekstrom, for making Marvin an exemplary school.” - Erika Hernandez, Marvin parent
“I like Mrs. Ekstrom because she was sweet and kind. She was always there when I needed her. She was one of the best teachers I have ever had. She was a really great teacher.” - Emilia Trevino Hernandez, former student
“Mrs. Ekstrom was the perfect 4th grade teacher for my son. She was incredibly kind, loving, and patient but tough when she needed to be. She helped my son navigate distance learning during the pandemic and would call to work 1:1 with him when he was struggling with math. I remember weeks where she would do this daily -- something she didn't have to do. She went above and beyond and I am forever grateful that my son had the opportunity to have her as his teacher. We love you, Mrs. Ekstrom!” - Marissa Mangone, Marvin parent
“I loved having Mrs. Ekstrom because she would work 1:1 with me when school work was tough. She prepared me for 5th grade by teaching me about responsibility, independence, and kindness.” - Will Mangone, former student