Alumni Spotlight: Zenzile DaBreo

Alumni Spotlight: Zenzile DaBreoThe College of St. Rose

Zenzile DaBreo has been busy. She’s been a star kindergarten teacher, where she received the UFT Abe Levine Award last year, as well as being featured in an ABC News segment detailing how teachers are working with remote learning. All the while being a model student at the College of St. Rose’s Administration program, an alum of our Alfred University program, as well as fiancée!

We’ll let her speak in her own words about what has helped her be successful throughout her career, as well as during this challenging time.

 

Where do you work and what’s your job title? I work at PS IS 109 as a Kindergarten teacher.
 
What CITE partner program are you in? I am currently in the Administration program through the College of St. Rose– prior to this I completed Masters progress with Alfred University for literacy education.
 
What made you want to pursue that program? I chose Administration because I want to expand my ability to positively impact children’s lives. I want to continue to be the educator that I needed when I was younger- but with a broader reach. 
 
What challenges do you see in remote learning? 
Some children/teachers do not have Technology devices
Some families/teachers do not have internet. 
Some families/ teachers are not technology Savvy.
Whole class instruction can be challenging. (Small group/1-1 instruction works best)
 
How have you managed to find success with remote learning?
I have worked all year to build a positive, trusting and collaborative relationship with the families I serve. We continue to collaborate- they take feedback from me- I take feedback from them. We have an open, honest relationship. My classroom community supports each other as well. Sometimes parents help other parents if I am not available. So, it’s really about building that rapport prior to remote learning.  
 
How can schools better engage students remotely?
Just talking to the families. Talk to them- see how they are doing first. We are all being impacted by COVID. We need to remember everyone has been thrown into this and just speak to them on a personable level. Lead with compassion, love, and empathy.  We have to remember and lead with the power of connection. Talk to the families to also see what they need to be able to do remote learning, if they are having a hard time with anything etc. Praise the families for their efforts and hard work. 
What feedback have you heard from students or faculty on remote learning?
They miss me. They ask when is corona going to end so we can go back to school. They ask why are people getting hurt by Corona. They want to sanitize the world so we can all see each other again. 
 
In terms of remote learning- families say I am doing a great job. They appreciate me being flexible and making appropriate changes as we go. They appreciate my patience in constantly working with them to make sure they can get on, through all the changes. They appreciate that I post the lessons for the entire week so they can do it at their own pace and I offer small group and 1-1 instruction every day in all subjects. Colleagues have the same challenges. It is also important to have leaders who are supportive and encourage faculty to be flexible. 
Are there resources you would like to share for early childhood:
 
Classdojo is an excellent way to communicate And stay connected with families. The children are able to upload their work into individual portfolios as well and it offers a clear variety of ways to submit the work. Teachers can also record short lessons from the site. Classdojo is parent and child friendly and extremely comprehensive. 
 
We also LOVE Zoom! Zoom helps us to stay connected and “see” each other. 

CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education. For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Master’s in Early Childhood or Childhood General and Special Ed, Master’s in TESOL, License extension courses in: Special Ed, TESOLBilingual; DASA); COUNSELORS (School Counseling Master’sMental Health Master’sAdvanced Certificates); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBLSDLPublic AdministrationDoctorate in Educational Leadership) in all five boroughs of NYC, Westchester, and Long Island.

CITE PD offers CTLE-approved in-school professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. Info: citepd.com