Tuesday, September 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

First-year teacher taps into enthusiasm, empathy

kairos school 8_4_14

Fairmont Elementary first grade teacher Mallory Caruso preps her classroom, in Vacaville, Monday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | August 11, 2014 |

VACAVILLE — Mallory Caruso was awash in a sea of books last week.

The 24-year-old first-grade teacher sat on the floor of Room 109 at Fairmont Charter School, a Vacaville School District charter school, sorting what looked like hundreds of children’s books into piles.

“I have been garage saling – a whole lot,” she said, with a smile. “If you don’t do it right your first year, you’ll go broke.”

Also amid the pile of books and other classroom decorations were borrowed and donated items, coming from a teacher who is on maternity leave. She’s also discovered TeachersPayTeachers.com – an open-networking marketplace for teachers, where she copiously hunts for the “free stuff.”

First year or not, Caruso, who moved to Dixon in the sixth grade and did her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis, is set, organized and ready to roll.

She has been ready for quite a while.

Caruso’s road to teaching began in the fourth grade with a negative school experience which, she said, left her feeling “stupid.” She was diagnosed with dyslexia and wasn’t meeting expected grade milestones. While her home life was supportive, the school support lacked. She said she learned from that experience how not to be with her students.

“She made me feel stupid and I will never forget that,” she said of a former teacher. “It took me a long time to get over that.”

With that behind her, she’s got her own class of students to contend with now but said the experience gave her “empathy.”

“I will give these kids the support they need,” she said.

While she admits to some nerves about her first day of school, she said, “I’m mostly excited.”

“I really want to see my class list,” she said. “I feel I can get to know them through that.”

She also admits to nerves when it comes to meeting teacher milestones, but she’s been doing some reading, including a first-year teacher blog and they’ve allayed some of her jitters.

Coming off some years of district budget cuts statewide, she watched only three in her group of about 25 get jobs last year. She said she was worried about the statistics for when she finished her credentialing program a California State University, Sacramento.

“This year it opened up,” she said.

She received multiple job offers, including one in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, but the Vacaville offer put her closer to home and into the lower-income Title 1 school demographic she said she prefers.

Her enthusiasm is infectious as she talks, always with a smile, about her plans for this year, and the future – plans to make her lessons fun but engaging. She admits to stopping by on the weekend to drop off items, burning the midnight oil with lesson planning and wonders how she’s going to prevent job burnout – something she’s been warned about.

“I’m just so crazy involved in making sure I do things right for the kids,” she said. “If it needs a little bit extra, I’m OK with that.”

She knows to find the balance, somewhere, but the enthusiasm spills out naturally.

“I’m excited to be here,” she said.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Shanna WieserAugust 11, 2014 - 2:27 pm

    Dear New Teacher, You are already a winning team member for your school. The best motivation to have is your past life experiences. You already know what not to do. That alone makes you a winner. Congratulations! I would want you for my teacher. Have a wonderful year.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Weather for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

Police investigate deadly Vallejo shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Police report missing man was found

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Support group to host domestic violence event

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Lake Berryessa hike set in October

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Work scheduled for Rio Vista Bridge

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

.

US / World

California wildfire crews brace for weather shift

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Reserves narrowing for California water wholesaler

By The Associated Press | From Page:

LA County sheriff’s deputies testing body cameras

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bear suspected to have killed New Jersey hiker

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Poll: Support for gay marriage may be leveling off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamic State militants kill 40 Iraqi troops

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Islamist group kidnaps Frenchman in Algeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pennsylvania governor confident ambush suspect will be caught

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Focus on UVa employee in student’s disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

State police: 3 missing Afghan soldiers in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prosecutor: 800 rounds found in intruder case

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Islamic State offensive poses problems for Turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Crews work to clear debris from Shasta mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon for Sept. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
Still searching for the bottom in Iraq

By John M. Crisp | From Page:

Academia needs to act to protect college women

By Dan K. Thomasson | From Page:

 
Question of the week: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
My daughter doesn’t like my cruise plans, but she ignored me first

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

Community Calendar: Sept. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Kris Jenner files to divorce Bruce Jenner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Shonda Rhimes lays claim to Thursday nights on ABC

By Frazier Moore | From Page: | Gallery

 
Giuliani to help fight Noriega’s video game suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

‘The Lion King’ earns record box office

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Eric Lynch, Howard Stern’s diminutive foil, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Giants get closer, beat Dodgers 5-2 in 13 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Prep boys water polo: Mustangs go 3-0 in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Prep boys soccer: Mustangs hold Indians to 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
MNF: Bears hold on to beat Jets 27-19

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Jeff Samardzija pitches A’s past Angels 8-4

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nebraska’s Abdullah: Jameis Winston must grow up

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders have to settle for moral victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Home of 49ers lineman Ray McDonald burglarized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Undisciplined play sends 49ers to 1-2 start

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kicking game: It is called football, after all

By Barry Wilner | From Page:

US Soccer stands by Solo decision

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
FIFA ethics judge hesitates on World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Braves fire GM Frank Wren after missing playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Royals beat Indians 2-0, gain on Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Bettman says NHL proactive about off-ice conduct

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Silver: NBA will review domestic violence policies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Concern over McIlroy, McDowell more about results

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL vetting process: There are no sure things

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Owner: ‘No misinformation’ by Ravens on Rice

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kent creates scholarship for Cal women’s athletics

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Treasury to unveil steps to curb tax inversions

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tesco suspends execs over inflated profit report

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GM expert says 21 deaths eligible for compensation

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US existing home sales fall in August

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Investors fret Yahoo’s future, stock dips

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Businesses and investors pressing for green policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6