Elaine Rosenfield credits her students for the passion that has kept her teaching for more than three decades — calling their journey from the first day of school to the last a magical experience.
She speaks fondly of her students, both present and past, and knows the strengths and weaknesses possessed by each of them.
Rosenfield, a second-grade teacher at Bishop’s Peak Elementary School, was recently named the Teacher of the Year for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, where she has taught for 33 years.
Her peers say it is her compassion, dedication and generosity that make her worthy of the honor.
Each fall, Rosenfield visits the homes of each of her students, plate of cookies in hand, during the first round of parent teacher conferences. She’s been doing that for the past 12 years.
“It allows me to see the child, their backyard, their room, their pets, their little sisters and brothers,” Rosenfield said. “It really helps me get to know the children and parent more deeply. It takes longer, but it is a rich experience for me.”
It is that dedication that colleagues say Rosenfield carries into every aspect of her teaching.
“She cares deeply for all her students, and she gives those who need extra support abundant attention,” Principal Dan Block said. “If a family has a need, Elaine will pursue school and community resources, searching for a way to support them.”
She routinely volunteers to tutor students after school and during the summer, and is constantly sharing new research with colleagues and her students, Block added.
Rosenfield said the key to successful teaching is to do it with passion and to always keep in mind the individual needs of each student.
“What keeps me going are the children,” Rosenfield said. “I never get tired of their learning, their imaginations and the unique ways in which they see the world. To see them grow from the beginning to the end of the year as they learn to deal with the world is just magical.”
Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.