Teacher Feature: Mrs. Scharpf

Nick Kruszniewski

What made you want to become a teacher?

There are a variety of reasons and people that made me want to become a teacher. My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Bacon, among many others, was an inspiration in his methods of teaching with comedy; it made me enjoy learning and also sparked teaching others with joy. I also had several experiences in college that really confirmed my choice. I was a tutor for the 100-level Biology courses, and one student in particular, who was initially failing in the semester, came to see me twice a week and by the end, she passed the course. I felt connected to her success and was humbled by a letter from her expressing that she was intending on transferring before coming to me for tutoring. I also had the experience of a work-study position all four years of undergrad at a school for students with moderate-to-severe special needs. Working with them, through some content, but even everyday tasks, was so incredibly worthwhile.


What is your favorite part about being a teacher here?

There are many things I enjoy about working here, but the best part is definitely my coworkers and the students. I feel supported by such a collaborative atmosphere that I know other districts and schools do not foster, based upon anecdotes from teacher-friends I have at other schools. The community that we have is very supportive. When it comes to my students, I learn probably as much from them as they do from me, and I love that I get to be a lifelong learner in this profession.


What college did you go to?

For my undergraduate degree, I went to what is now the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, back when it was an all-women’s university. I earned my B.S. in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Physics. For my graduate degree and certification, I went through the Teacher Certification Program for College Graduates (TCPCG) through UConn, in which I earned my M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction.


If you could be anything other than a teacher, what would you be?

I would likely be a dental hygienist or if I decided to put in the time, a dentist. I love anatomy and physiology anyway and the start of the digestive system is just SO interesting. I find the change from baby teeth to adult teeth fascinating and honestly, I just like teeth.


What is one thing that students don’t know about you?

I’m sure there are things that I am forgetting, but what many students don’t know is that I’m into anime, thanks to my husband. I really like Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach. although I’m not too sure about the live-action versions Netflix has put out for these, among several others. My husband and I just recently started watching Cowboy Bebop – but I haven’t watched enough to give a full opinion…yet.