It takes a teacher: Mrs. Costanzo

Medford, Ore.– All month long, we are honoring some of the specials teachers in our community.  Kindergarten teacher from Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Paula Costanzo received a viewer nomination.

“I want it to be a place that they want to be,” Costanzo says of her classroom.

As she leads her kindergarten class at Abraham Lincoln in the day’s lesson plan, she reflects on some of her own school-age challenges.

“I was the one that was always in trouble,” she recalls.  “[I] had my name on the board.”

While the classroom wasn’t always the most enjoyable place for Costanzo as a child, it was those uncomfortable moments and brushes with discipline that actually inspired her.

“I knew as a kid that I wanted to be a teacher and make it a place where kids were comfortable.”

As she celebrates her 19th year of teaching, Costanzo’s passion is infectious.

“Mrs. Costanzo loves her job and she loves her kids and they know it,” says Abraham Lincoln Elementary  principle Megan Young says that love creates deep bonds in Costanzo’s classroom.

“Individually knowing each student, really understanding what makes them tick, what is important to them,” is how Young says Costanzo connects with the kiddos in her class.

For Costanzo, her biggest job is instilling a love for learning in all of her students.

“I want them to carry that on for the rest of their lives,” she says.

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