“I was placed with the greatest teacher mentor, Morgan Grifka, who made a huge impact on my growth as an educator,” said Ms. Dubrock. “From the second I walked into her classroom, she made it feel like it was our classroom, and we are both equal teachers working together. I left school that day feeling like I made a bunch of little best friends. It truly did not feel like work to me. I had so much fun with the kids. It just felt 'right'.”
Dubrock originally got her B.A. in Criminal Justice and knew she was interested in pursuing education, yet wanted an in-class experience before deciding to go back to school. That’s when she moved into a para role at Westfield to try it out. Her dean helped her find the best certification path, and she was on her way. Now she’s gaining her alternative certification through Michigan Teachers of Tomorrow, which will be complete after fulfilling three academic years and all the requirements in the program.
Though she’s in her first year of teaching, she has quickly found her way as an educator, and what she’s most passionate about.
“Her passion, enthusiasm, and love of kids has been an inspiration,” said Westfield Principal Ira Kleiman. “She has done a wonderful job of creating a warm, welcoming, and caring culture in her classroom.”
She loves to build class culture and getting to know her students. She especially loves the light in a student’s eyes when she mentions something they didn’t expect her to remember about them.
“I love their excitement in the mornings telling me about things they love or did outside of school,” said Ms. Dubrock. “I also share things about myself. They know me as more than just a teacher. They know me as a person.”
She also enjoys working with her students as a class family to establish what their classroom environment should look like, which she does through their social contract. Her students even write her love notes and make her artwork throughout the day.
“I always have a pile by the end of the day, so I decided to make a display out of them,” she said. “I love displaying their love note and pictures for everyone to see, and they love seeing their artwork displayed as well! It makes them feel special just as they make me feel every day.”
Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Dubrock!
Check out Morgan Grifka’s episode on creating an inclusive classroom on The Teachers’ Lounge podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
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