Teacher spotlight: Mr. Tereshko, English

Mr. Tereshko teaches 8th- and 9th-grade English at Passaic Preparatory Academy. He has been at Prep for two years. Mr. Tereshko, who is married and has one daughter, used to coach high school girls basketball and baseball. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his daughter and watching her grow. He also loves to read and had wanted to be a writer.

 

The Boulevard Online: How has it been online teaching these past months? Do you enjoy it or feel that teaching physically in-person is better?

Mr. Tereshko: Physically it is better because my students, my family, and I are safe. Physically it is worse because now I am sitting most of the day and I notice my eyes, back, and muscles hurt by 3:36. I enjoy that we are safe but I know that I am not as good of a teacher online and my students are not learning as much as if we were in-person.

 

TBO: What is something that you found difficult after school was remotely?

Mr. T: I have found it difficult to reach my struggling students. Because of confusion, apathy, or other reasons I am unaware, some students do not come to class nor participate nor hand in assignments. In person, I have always had students like that but many I could connect with and assist when I could pull them aside or smile or be tough on or just “see them.” I have not been as successful doing that virtually. 

 

TBO: What is something that students and people don’t know about you?

Mr. T: Earlier in my career, I was a head high school varsity girls basketball coach and an assistant for boys baseball.

 

Pullquote Photo

There is no better feeling than getting a thank you at the end of the year from a student I taught something to, or supported, or helped get into college.”

— Mr. Tereshko

TBO: How was your life after the pandemic?

Mr. T: I have gone out a lot less and exercised more. But I am also lonely, missing my friends.

 

TBO: Is there any show that you’ve been obsessed with?

Mr. T: I have been watching “Law & Order: SVU” much since the pandemic started and I also watch “The Mandalorian” every Friday but I have been disappointed with the plot development the last few episodes. When I was younger, I was obsessed with “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” and “Friday Night Lights.”

 

TBO: What’s something that you want to accomplish next year?

Mr. T: I want to help my daughter roll over, crawl, speak, and walk next year! 

 

TBO: Where is somewhere that you want to travel?

Mr. T: I checked off one of my two “bucket list” vacation destinations last summer when I honeymooned in Greece. I would also like to cage dive with great white sharks in South Africa or Australia one day.

 

TBO: When did you feel that teaching was the best path for you?

Mr. T: I knew I wanted to be a teacher for sure when I started actually doing it as a student-teacher in college when I was 20. I knew I wanted a career in English when I was 15 but actually went to college hoping to be an author. I had always loved education and had considered teaching, but my mother convinced me to get a teaching certificate “just in case” I wasn’t the next John Steinbeck. I fell in love the first day I was in front of the classroom. 

 

TBO: What is something fun that you’ll do during the Christmas season?

Mr. T: I am excited to spend my first Christmas with my three-month-old daughter. She won’t understand or remember, but I know it will be a precious memory for my family and me. 

 

TBO: What has been the best part of teaching? And the worst part of teaching?

Mr. T: There is no better feeling than getting a thank you at the end of the year from a student I taught something to, or supported, or helped get into college. Whether I get a note or a handshake or not, I know that I’m doing good things for my students and I love having a career where I can help so many studying a subject I love. The worst part is when students have tragedy in their lives. 

 

Thank you, Mr. Tereshko!