From the time she was a child, Darlene Jacoby always knew that she wanted to become a teacher. Learn how she’s driven to help her students become lifelong learners, readers, and writers:
What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a dance teacher. I danced for over 20 years and still dance as an adult. I started when I was 2, and I did it all the way through college.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a teacher.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and work with children! Growing up, I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and I knew that I wanted to be in the Catholic school setting. My teachers were always very caring, I made really good friends because of the smaller classroom sizes, and being able to talk about God was always so great. Knowing the way that I was treated when I was a child, I always wanted to give back and make a difference in at least one’s child life, so I’m hoping that I’ve done that.
How do you engage your students in the learning experience?
I try to engage them a lot with movement! Because of my dance background, we do a lot of activities where we’re moving and active. We sing a lot of songs, play a lot of games, and there’s always a lot of laughter in the classroom! We do a lot of cooperative learning activities, and they develop so many skills from working with other people. We also do a lot of what we call “STREAM” activities in our classroom, and those are probably their favorite cooperative learning activities. They think of things that I would have never even thought of; it’s actually quite amazing what they come up with!
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
Just seeing their smiles and hearing them laugh is the most rewarding. It’s also really rewarding to have past students come back to see me. I’ve been at Annunciation for 17 years, and having students come back and thank me is the best part. In first grade, the 7th graders are our buddies when we go to church each week, so I get to see my former students quite often!
What do you enjoy about teaching at Annunciation?
My coworkers here make my job all the better! I can’t imagine working here without all of them. It’s a great community here too; I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be, and I love coming to work each day. I’m happy being here for them, for the children and families as well. The families are all very supportive.
What do you hope your students take away from being in your classroom?
They all know that my number one rule is to be kind, and I always tell them that while they’re going to learn their letters and numbers, I want them to remember to be kind to others. We talk about how the Gospel tells us to “love others as I have loved you,” and that’s what I want them to remember.
Get to Know Darlene Jacoby
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Cranford, New Jersey. My husband and I moved here after we were married.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I do teach dance as well, so that takes up a lot of my extra time! Tap dance is my favorite, and I also teach Zumba.
Q: What’s your favorite place that you’ve traveled?
A: I enjoy going back to visit New Jersey! I like going back to visit family. I like to visit NYC, and my husband and I like going to Clearwater Beach.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: Elf is my all-time favorite movie.
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: I would say my downfall is chips. Chips and salsa!
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