Kimberly Fuda, a teacher for 23 years, didn’t push her daughter, Ellen, toward Saint Rose to study education. But she was thrilled when Ellen decided to pursue their shared passion at her alma mater.
How long did you know you wanted to be a teacher? Kimberly Fuda: Ever since I was a little girl, I was that person who lined up all of her dolls, and I was a little bit of a boss. Your kid in the neighborhood who wanted everyone to sit down and, you know, play school with me.
But really, I think it comes down to all the amazing connections I made with teachers along the way in my elementary school and later in high school. And it wasn’t necessarily what they taught me. It was who they were as people and how they made me feel.
Ellen Fuda: I was also one of those kids who dragged all the kids from the neighborhood downstairs to train for spelling bees and write on my big whiteboard.
After I started going into school with my mom – she let me come in on days that I would have off and she wouldn’t – I saw what she did and how passionate she was about it.
Kimberly, you’ve been in this field for 23 years. What keeps you going?
Children learn from people they like, and people that they love, and people that they trust. Even through something like a pandemic, I was thinking, “You know … those masks prevent viruses and everything else from spreading, but they don’t stop the positive relationships.” And that’s what kids need. Even in a world that’s filled with chaos right now and unpredictability, the fact that teachers are the constant for so many children – that’s what I think is most important.