Whether it’s assisting them in the classroom, online, or even out running, biology teacher Ms. Beth Czubik always finds a way to connect with her students. When a student needs help in any way, she is always sure they receive it. Influenced by the teachers she had growing up, she took a liking to biology and wanted to follow in the footsteps of her freshman year high school teacher after she graduated college. Because of the given guidance from Czubik’s role model, throughout her career she has been able to apply and adapt her teaching skills to help prepare for the unexpected times now of E-Learning.
Our creative inspirations in life can come from anywhere, at any time, and they can alter our decisions for the better. When it came time to decide a future career, Czubik was mainly interested in science. She explains, “I thought for a little bit that I wanted to be a nurse, but then the sight of blood made me pass out.” She then turned to the next not so bloody option, biology, the study of life. Her inspiration to teach was simple: “My freshman year biology teacher, she made the class really fun and interesting.” Czubik explains. “I wanted to be kind of like her when I got out of college,” and that she did. Since then, Czubik has taught at McHenry Community High School (MCHS) since 2007, impacting thirteen years-worth of students.
Besides teaching, other things she enjoys doing include reading and running. In fact, Czubik coaches the MCHS cross country team and runs alongside them, motivating and encouraging the runners to do their best. Back in the classroom, the energy remains the same. She always makes sure to check up on her students, ask how their day is going, and guarantees help when needed. She describes her teaching style as nothing out-of-the-ordinary. “I don’t stand up and lecture and take lots and lots of notes, I allow the students to learn on their own,” Czubik describes her teaching style as nothing out-of-the-ordinary.
The situation of the world for the past seven months has been nothing but uncertainty and a whole lot of change. The way that teachers are altering the way they teach to accommodate online learning and help students learn outside of the classroom has to be incredibly difficult. Czubik explains how she has adapted when teaching through a computer screen, “Actually I don’t think I’ve changed too much. I give them the materials to help guide them towards the information and I am always here to make sure they understand it.” However, she did point out one issue that she has.“ I think being able to go back over and make sure that students understand has been a little bit harder because there isn’t much time to do that, so that’s been a struggle.” encouraging students to ask for help or go to office hours to receive it, especially in a Zoom meeting, is very difficult to do.
Despite a quiet and empty classroom, Czubik always starts the day with a smile ready to teach a group of young minds in the same way that her high school freshman biology teacher once did. Making class interesting, checking up on her students, interacting with them, and enjoying what she teaches is really what makes her an inspiring teacher.