There’s no doubt that Eisenhower Elementary first grade teacher Anna Wosika loves what she does. She’s always known she wanted to be a teacher and still enjoys learning with her students 10 years after she started.
Last week, Education Minnesota named Wosika as one of its candidates for teacher of the year. Hopkins Patch talked with Wosika via an e-mail interview about her profession and what it means to be up for the annual award.
Hopkins Patch: What school did you go to?
Anna Wosika: I grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota and went to Mankato State for teaching early childhood education and elementary education.
Hopkins Patch: How long have you been teaching?
Wosika: I have been teaching since 2002 and started with Hopkins in 2004 teaching early childhood education in the Stepping Stones year before kindergarten program. This is my first year teaching first grade.
Hopkins Patch: What do you love about teaching?
Wosika: I have always known that teaching was my calling. I think my Mom and Dad planted the seed when I was really young. They are both skilled at teaching, though they never pursued a career in education. I love teaching! Young children have a thirst for knowledge and an amazing sense of wonder. Is there a better combination for learning? I love exploring new ideas with them and watching the very moment when they understand a new concept and the light bulb goes off. I also enjoy having a new group of kids each year and creatively exploring changes I need to make to meet the needs of these kids. I enjoy collaborating with my coworkers and molding my craft. I have been blessed to work with tremendously talented coworkers who share ideas and support each other. I am so thankful for their support! My colleagues at Eisenhower Elementary including teachers, administrators, support staff, the early childhood community and Kids and Company are extremely dedicated to the education of the children.
Hopkins Patch: What is your approach to teaching?
Wosika: I grow as a teacher every day, just as the kids in my class grow. Teaching is a craft that changes, just as the children from generation to generation do. It is our duty as teachers to sculpt our techniques to meet the needs of changing generations, economical differences and each individual student’s needs. I believe creativity is at the heart of every good educator. I believe that the greatest gift to our society is to give our children the space and tools to be thinkers, to flex their creativity, practice their inventive thinking and use their imaginations.
Hopkins Patch: What does it mean to be named a candidate for teacher of the year?
Wosika: It is a great honor to be nominated for teacher of the year. I am humbled to be one of the candidates.