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Janelle Ostronic

Janelle Ostronic

Name: Janelle Ostronic
School: Wildwood Elementary
City: Yucaipa
State: California
Grade(s): Kindergarten
Subject(s): All

What quote inspires you?
“Tell me and I will forget, Teach me and I will remember, Involve me and I will learn” – Benjamin Franklin

What is your favorite color and why?
Purple. I love it because it’s vibrant and cheerful, just like me.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your classroom?
My beloved smart board. After teaching my first 5 years with one, I knew I had to go out and buy one for my own classroom. My kids love it and it helps me create creative, engaging lessons for them.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I am a facilitator of information. I challenge my students to engage in meaningful conversations with each other. I guide their learning and help them create “ah ha” moments daily. I am a sing songy teacher who loves to get down at my kinders level and just have fun!

When did you know you wanted to become a teacher?
I was named after one of my mother’s favorite teachers and I was told by my own third grade teacher “wow….you’re going to make a great teacher someday!” I still talk to her.

What is your favorite lesson/unit to teach?
Throughout the year we have grow boxes on our playground that the kids and I take care of and watch grow. In April we discuss the plant life cycle and plant our own lima beans in grow bags that hang on our kinder windows. They love taking notes and drawing pictures of their plants.

What is your greatest challenge in teaching?
Finding a way to fit it all into a half day kindergarten program.

If you could have a career other than a teacher, what would it be?
I’ve always loved to sing and once had an opportunity to make a career out of it.

What’s something your students probably don’t know about you?
I am secretly obsessed with young adult fiction series and write book blogs and reviews on them under a secret name at least 10 times a year.

If a student were to remember something about your class 50 years from now, what do you hope it would be?
I hope they remember that a love of learning should last a lifetime.

What are your three favorite books?
1. Any Elephant and Piggie book.
2. Harry Potter series
3. Premonition series by Amy Bartol.

Which do you prefer:

pencil or pen

coffee or tea

morning or afternoon

packed lunch or hot lunch or anything I can eat in under 10 minutes

faculty meeting or dentist

Is there anything else you want to tell us?
1. I have been lucky enough to travel the world in college competing in choir of the world competitions.
2. I think the best preparation I had in becoming a teacher was being a mom to my now 12 year old son.
3. I always refer to my past students as my kids “I claim you and love you from the day you set foot in this classroom until the day you graduate” I’ve had the pleasure of attending multiple graduations.
4. I am surrounded by the most loving community of fellow teachers, administrators and families a girl could ask for.

If you would like to be considered for a future Educator Spotlight, send this completed questionnaire and a picture to