By Noelle H. Lowery
Emilia Roman knows the impact a teacher can have on a child’s life.
Now a third-grade teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary School, Roman was born in Romania. She and her family came to the United States when she was 10 years old, and settled in New York City. It was there that Roman’s life was changed forever by her middle school English Language Learner (ELL) teacher, Mr. Reilly.
“He was an extraordinary man who deeply cared about his students, and it was reflected through his ways of teaching,” Roman says. “It was him that sparked my interest of becoming a teacher one day.”
Eventually, Roman moved to Florida, and she graduated from South Plantation High School in Fort Lauderdale. She never forgot Mr. Reilly or his influence on her life, though. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University, and she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
“My hard work paid off in the end,” she quips.
Coastal Breeze News sat down with Roman to learn more about her long journey to TBE.
Q: Why did you become a teacher, and why elementary school?
A: As far as I can remember, I loved to work with children. The mere presence of children just opens up an appetite for teaching. Because of the great impact that Mr. Reilly had in my life, at first, I wanted to become an ELL teacher. I volunteered my time when I was in college working with ELL students in the Middle School and High School, since classes were only available in the middle and high school grades. I enjoyed helping ELL students, and did it with such fidelity. Yet, along the way I realized my desire was to work at the primary level. My creativity and abundance of patience best fits at the elementary level.
Q: Is this your first year teaching? If not, how long have you been teaching? Where have you taught? What grades?
A: This is my forth year teaching. I taught second grade for three years in Broward County, and last year, I was a third-grade, long-term guest teacher at Mike Davis Elementary (in Naples).
Q: What three words best describe your teaching style, and why?
A: Invigorating, dynamic and creative are the best words that describe my teaching style.
Q: What has been your favorite grade to teach thus far and why?
A: I have enjoyed teaching both second and third grade, and find that no matter the grade level my excitement and love for teaching is the same.
Q: How did you come to TBE?
A: Our amazing principal Dr. Westberry contacted me and offered me the opportunity to interview with her. I immediately responded to her request, and was hired immediately after the interview.
Q: What was the first thing you noticed about TBE that told you this elementary school may be different from others?
A: The first thing that I noticed about TBE was the amount of support and help that I have been receiving from the amazing Staff, especially my wonderful third-grade team. Secondly, the amount of parental support by far surpasses the schools that I have worked at in the past.
Q: What are your goals for your first year at TBE?
A: My goal for my first year (at TBE) is that all my students will exceed their learning capabilities, and through my invigorating and dynamic teaching, I believe I can achieve this goal.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
A: My parents have been the biggest influence in my life. They’ve taught me to persevere, work hard and stray strong in my Faith.
Q: What three words best describe you, and why?
A: Hard working, persistent and perfectionist best describe me.
Q: How would you like students and parents to remember you?
A: I would like for them to remember me as a person that CARED deeply for my students.
Q: Ann Frank once said that in spite of everything, she believed people were basically good. Do you agree? Disagree? Why?
A: I totally agree with that and try to apply that to everyday life, especially in teaching. There is a “good” in every child, and I believe that with love, care and compassion that goodness within us will grow and just inundate us.