Our Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Bianca Di Marcello of SanLee Middle School. Mrs. Di Marcello was recently honored as SanLee’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year and has been a part of the Stallion family for the entirety of her four-year teaching career. She holds a BA from Occidental College and a Masters of Art in Teaching from North Carolina State.
Mrs. Di Marcello’s teaching philosophy stems from her belief in teaching the whole individual child. She comments, “I believe that each child deserves to be safe, healthy, supported and challenged in each school in each community. Students internalize what they are able to do, and I am here to give them opportunities to be challenged and to grow in their unique identity as a scholar and a human being.”
If you asked her why she became a teacher, Mrs. Di Marcello would tell you that it was her love of words, literature and the empowered voices that result from both, that inspired her. She observes, “I believe that when we tell stories, we can find our identities and we can change our communities. I have always wanted to empower young people to find their voices and tell their stories. I have a passion for social justice and wanted to marry that with my love of learning to show young people that they are agents of change.”
Mrs. Di Marcello’s proudest teaching accomplishment is the relationships she built with a group of students she taught in the past year, noting. “I felt a strong bond with each individual student in each of my four classes. We built a community together where we felt safe to try new things, take risks, share our stories and learn joyfully. As a result, we all grew together as teacher, scholars and citizens of our shared community.”
And if you are considering a career in teaching, Mrs. Di Marcello would tell you this: “The advice I would give to those considering a career in teaching is to teach with compassion, honesty and a fierce belief in the ability and beauty of all children. It is crucial to build relationships before a book is ever opened. The easiest way to do this is to show students they are sage with you by being vulnerable with them. I would also advise potential teachers to be open and listen to what students tell you they need and want. If we approach teaching as building a community within our classrooms, students rise to the occasion intrinsically. And, tell students you love them and believe in them every day.”