Jennifer (Klopsic) Cavalieri
1st grade teacher (2 years), 3rd grade teacher (5 years), and Vice
Principal (present position)
City, State/Country: Mantua, NJ
Double Major in Elementary and Early Childhood Education with a
certification in Spanish, Supervisors Certificate, Masters in Educational
Leadership & Principals Certificate.
Fairleigh Dickinson University
How did you connect with this job
What attracted you to this
What are the most gratifying
aspects of your job?
What has been/was your biggest
challenge as a first-year teacher?
How did your time at GCC prepare
you for the teaching field?
What advice would you give to a
current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare for his or her future
What job search tips would you
give to GCC students?
I literally sent resumes and cover letters to every school and board
office in my county and the surrounding counties. I called continuously to
check on the progress of my application, requested interviews, went to job
fairs and kept detailed files of what I had sent and to where. I was
hired the week after I graduated from GCC!
I always had a passion
for younger children and wanted to teach in an early elementary school.
So, I loved my years teaching 1st and 3rd graders. Then, when
an administration position opened up in my same district, it just felt
right. I believe that what is meant to be will work out, and it always has!
As a teacher I
genuinely love the "lightbulb" moments when that connection is made for
the learner. I also love seeing the progression from September to June,
especially in the younger grades. As a vice principal, I love when things
run smoothly, the building functions in an orderly manner, teachers and
students are happy and true learning & fun is happening.
The biggest challenge
is to stay on top of things, develop relationships with colleagues,
display competency to the parents, meet the needs of the students and do
it all with a smile and acting very confident!
GCC does an
outstanding job of preparing you. I felt worlds above some other new
teachers who came from other institutions. They develop your
professionalism to an extremely high degree, content knowledge, awareness
of students, awareness of the new trends, writing skills and ability to
handle large amounts of work at one time. I had many teachers comment to
me that they've never seen a new teacher so prepared...this was due to GCC!
I'd advise you to
purchase the Responsive Classroom series and read them. The First Six
Weeks of School, Classroom Rules, The Morning Meeting Book, and Classroom
Spaces that Work. They provide solid examples, an excellent
foundation and a great logic to develop a true classroom community. I
reread them every summer!
Be confident, poised
and organized. Put your information and resume out everywhere and
practice at multiple job fairs. As intimidating as it may be, it's
excellent job interview practice. Also, be sure to dress and speak
professionally and be kind to office staff when arriving for interviews.
The market isn't the best, so you have to make them feel as though you're
the most important thing needed for their district.
More information about
Jennifer's graduate school experience
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