Sunday, April 19, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

Waiting game: Woman, toddler hope for kidney transplants

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Tiny twins call Heather House their 1st home

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 35 Comments | Gallery

Solano ranks last in Bay Area for health

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
SID to consider water rate hikes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
 
City announces Browns Valley Road closures

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

Healthier Living program begins mid-May

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Bachelor party turns into community event

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

Il Fiorello serves up chocolate desserts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Coping with seasonal allergies

By Emerita Brigino-Buenaventura, M.d | From Page: C4

When to throw in the towel on sickly plants

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
Church hosts health, wellness fair

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Solano superhero back in school

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Weather for Sunday, April 19, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

Home, garden show offers something for everyone

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
2 nations at center of market drop

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Vanden robotics team ready to compete in world championships

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield hotel gets major renovation

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Teen victim of Dixon shooting dies

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Land use, design, project synergy key to growth

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
Commissary-Exchange pairing gains steam

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Airmen with county ties complete training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco marks anniversary of 1906 earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Time plus distance help some Oklahoma City victims move on

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Scarlett O’Hara outfit fetches $137,000 at auction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Turin Shroud goes back on display for faithful and curious

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Caged puppies on car roof trigger dozens of 911 calls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

French replica of revolutionary frigate sets sail for Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Islamic State blamed for Afghan suicide bombing killing 35

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Talk about corruption

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Justice not served

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 23 Comments

 
Clinton should spruce up a bit

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 17 Comments

 
Sound off for April 19, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 19, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Sunday, April 19, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican unexpectedly ends crackdown of US nun group

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes: April 19, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Wife needs to decide if she can tolerate husband’s binge drinking

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Anna Kendrick has book of essays coming out in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Phil Klay, Leslie Jamison among PEN award nominees

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
.

Sports

Crawford, Heston lead Giants to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry scores 34, Warriors beat Pelicans 106-99 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Reddick’s 3-run homer sends A’s to 5-0 victory over Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Cal defense shines for a change at scripted spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Jones throws 2 TDs, wins challenge at Ohio State spring game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Serena Williams gets a rare test from Giorgi but holds on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tom Watson: Next Masters might be his last

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Free agent center Wisniewski signs 1-year deal with Jaguars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pete Rose hired by Fox as special guest studio analyst

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Marcotte, Ryan win US cycling Criterium championships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Independent league experiments with 3-ball walks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Merritt maintains edge through 3 rounds at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As Spurs know, international players can impact NBA playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Rose scores 23, Bulls beat Bucks 103-91

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Harden has 24 points, Rockets beat Mavs 118-108 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Pierce leads Wizards past Raptors in OT in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hometown report: Little League baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Hometown report: Youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Kenseth content in car and not contemplating retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Logano leads flag-to-flag to win Xfinity race at Bristol

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for April 19

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Using a prepaid card? Avoid getting socked with fees

By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

 
This year’s fight for the tech industry: Patent trolls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Recalls this week: blowers, bike hooks, mattresses, toys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
IMS: US prescription drug spending jumped 13 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Fast-growing Asian aviation confronts safety challenges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
 
.

Obituaries

Carole Anspach

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Frances Bayona Lozano

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Larkin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara Medders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Carrol “Carl” Gordon Parker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Allen Ellsworth Dolby Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sterling Jenkins

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5

Dennis Burkhart von Ting

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics