Morris Park native nabs teaching fellowship

Rebecca Guarino has been chosen as a 2016 Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellow. She will be starting her second year teaching at South Bronx Preparatory in the fall.
Photo courtesy of Knowles Science Teaching Foundation

A local teacher was recently selected to take part in a prestigious multi-year program for math and science educators.

Rebecca Guarino, who is going to enter her second year as a mathematics teacher at South Bronx Preparatory, was selected as one of 35 teachers nationwide to be part of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation 2016 cohort of fellows.

The fellowship provides grants for teaching materials, mentoring from experienced educators, support for teaching leadership activities, funding for professional development and membership in a community of more than 300 peers like-minded peers. The program takes five years.

Guarino, who grew up in Morris Park, said she applied when she attended a mandatory job fair for students as undergraduate at the University of Delaware.

Most of the teaching jobs at the fair were in Delaware and she was looking for a job in New York, she said. She applied at the Knowles because it is a national program.

At the time, she didn’t realize what it would lead to and was somewhat surprised and thrilled by her acceptance into the program, she said.

It was confirmation that she is doing what she was meant to do professionally, said Guarino.

“It is just a really humbling experience to know that something so incredible is going to develop me as a teacher,” said Guarino, adding that Knowles believes in teachers’ mission and the impact they can have on the communities they serve.

She said that she hopes being a Knowles fellow can help her teach students to see the beauty of math and help her grow in the profession.

“I just believe that as teachers we should be continually be growing and developing, and I don’t think at any point in my career am I going to be a perfect teacher,” said Guarino. “I hope the teaching fellowship will help me strive to be the better than I can be today.”

While she said that she does not yet have a complete picture of the improvements she will make over the next five years as part of the fellowship program, she already has some solid ideas.

She said she would soon present a grant proposal for funds to purchase a document projector, which she believes can help students to better see their mistakes and work together as a class in solving mathematics problems.

The second-year teacher said she looks forward collaborating with fellows from both rural and urban areas across the country, and believes the experience can add more rigor and content to her teaching.

“I am so excited to see where it takes me,” said Guarino.

Knowles provides support and professional development math and science teachers who are early on in their careers, according to the organization.

Teachers supported by Knowles are improving science, technology, engineering and math education.

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Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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