Mr. Matt Kozeniewski
As a history teacher, it is my responsibility to help the students revisit the past and physically
place themselves in different historical time periods. Therefore, each class session should involve an array of activities to make the students feel this way. I believe that students should complete hands-
on and real world activities. For example, each year my classes go on a field trip to the Liberty Bell and the Constitution Center. These historical places give the students a sense of how our country was
created and allows them to see the clothes, decorations, and most important figures from the 1700’s. I
find it important that each student expresses their own thoughts during class and develops critical
thinking skills through a series of leading question based on the teachings of Socrates. Students
should be encouraged to use their mind and provide thought provoking answers. I push the students
to always use their highest potential and allow them to realize that they are more intelligent than they
I am also a firm believer that learning needs to be student centered and the students need to be
my top priority. Students should always have a say in the lesson and no student should be judged on
how they act or on how they perform. Every student is different and every student needs to be dealt
with and taught differently. In making sure each student is engaged into the topic, I incorporate into
my lessons philosopher, Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. I am able to identify each
student’s preferred learning method and put to use materials such as films, pictures, music, group
work, and even books in my classroom to capture each and every student. Since every student does
learn differently I make sure that every student stays on task and if they do fall behind I make myself
available to them. By making myself available it allows the student to get extra support and catch up
to the rest of the class without any delay in the actual class. When helping students I always find it
best to give real life examples and relate it to important moments in the student’s life. By doing this
the student automatically becomes engaged and quickly understands the topic.
In my classroom I also follow the teachings of Carl Rogers who was a humanistic psychologist.
Rogers believed that in order for a person to grow they need to be provided with genuineness,
acceptance, and empathy. As the teacher, I believe it is best to develop a connection with the
students. I, as the teacher, should build a trusting, fun-filling, and enriching learning environment. By
conversing with the student about their favorite hobby or about how their sports team did in a
previous game I am able to share the student I care about him or her and I am there for them in time
of need and they should not be afraid to approach me for help. Not only should this relationship be
strong between my students and I but also amongst each other. I do not believe in being a strict
teacher and not allowing for any free time to converse or play a game. With this, I am a great
believer in teaching the students how to work together in groups. By allowing group work it gives the
students a chance to interact with others and develop speaking and social skills that will be used later
in life. Groups build trust amongst students and charisma. Groups cause the students to work twice as
hard since other students are depending on the work of their peers to be correct and accurate.
Lastly, in my classroom I make use of formative assessments to help improve the students
own understanding of the topic. Formative assessments also serve as a way for me to see how well I
am doing in conveying the information to the students and how well the students are processing this
information. By looking over these assessments I am able to return to a previous lesson and confirm
a couple missed points and tie up any lose ends I may have left. I have to remind myself that I am
teaching a generation who will soon be in the workforce and know that I must teach them the skills
they need in order to succeed in that workforce. I am help build these skills by incorporating the
teachings of Howard Gardner and Carl Rogers.
Overview of Curriculum
Fifth Grade Social Studies covers the Western Hemisphere (North America including Central America and the Caribbean Islands and South America) with continued emphasis on strengthening geography and research skills.
Sixth Grade Social Studies covers the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia) with continued emphasis on strengthening geography and research skills.
Seventh Grade Social Studies is a study of US History from the arrival of Native Americans to the US Civil War. Current events, the Documents of Freedom, the election process, citizenship, and public speaking skills are topics this year.
Eighth Grade Social Studies continues the study of US History from the US Civil War to present day. Students continue with current events, explore themes in history, research the impact of inventions, and study landmark US Supreme Court decisions.
I am a teacher who participates, learns, teaches, and studies. Throughout my life, I have been recognized and
viewed as an outstanding person who goes above and beyond the norm. I enjoy connecting with students on a
professional as well as a personal level. I feel as if the best way to make a student feel at home in the classroom is by
making them feel included and cared about. I believe that through group work and class discussions students get the
most out of the subject area. By allowing students to converse and brainstorm with each other it opens doors for
them that they may have never seen or known were possible. By having a warm, comfortable, and welcoming
classroom environment I believe it helps the students be more open and willing to discuss certain topics. To me,
communication is key in having a successful class period and school year.
My motto in life is to take one day at a time and focus on that day. I believe that by taking time to realize
what needs to be done in the present and do those things to the best of your ability is better than planning ahead and
overlooking things that could benefit you immensely. Hard work and organization are two key factors in having a
successful work day. Through my own hard work, organization, and dedication I have been able to get to where I am
today. My hard work has paid off through the granting of several awards such as the Good Citizenship Award from
my township and Firefighter of the Year Award from the volunteer fire company I graciously donate my time to. In
school, I have been inducted into the Chestnut Hill College Education Department as well as the History
Department’s Honor Society. It is imperative to me that a student gives one hundred percent even if they have doubt
or feel as if they will not achieve the goal they are striving to reach.
Outside of being a teacher, I give my time as a volunteer firefighter at the local fire company and serve the
position as Safety Officer. Through this experience, I have been able to gain the skills of leadership and teamwork. I
believe that as a teacher leadership is a very important skill to have. By being a leader in the classroom it allows for
myself to have better classroom management and have a smooth and effective class period. Teamwork is another key
skill. Through teamwork things are able to get done not only proficiently but more efficiently. By allowing students
to work as a team it allows ideas to be shared among several peers and allows them to see new perspectives. I also
work as a after school care taker, security agent, and Religious education teacher. These roles have given me
experiences improving my way to view different situations and grow as an education student and human being in
In my free time, I enjoy to travel, watch sports, and train. I have been lucky enough to travel out of the
country for two weeks to three different countries. I have been to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam. In just these
two short weeks I was able to learn so much from the different cultures in these countries. Through these countries, I
was given the chance to look at things from a different lens. It struck me to see how different cultures can be even if
places are so close together. Through travelling aboard, it has widened my view on certain topics and given me a
better understanding of historical times in other countries besides the United States. I enjoy to spend my summer and fall weekends on the beach in Ocean City, NJ. The relaxation on the beach during the weekend gives me time to
reflect on the previous week and point out the good and bad that happened. I think that another key thing for students and teachers alike is relaxation. Through taking a break from the norm and just thinking about previous life
experiences can help relieve much stress on a student and allow them to see different experiences better and
understand why they happened. Through journal or free-lance writing it allows the student to really think about their own life. It allows them to gain a better understanding of themselves. Journaling allows a student to see where they could improve or could continue to prosper.
I not only regain control of my posture though relaxation on the beach but also through listening to music,
watching videos, conversing with family, or playing games. One of the best things that calms me down is playing
with my dog, Molly. She is a Cocker Bichon and is a very lovable and energetic dog who automatically lifts any
bodies spirt. My family is also a big help with not only my parents talking to me but also my four older brothers. By
having older brothers, it has allowed me to develop a thick skin. By living with four brothers it is has taught me to
not always pay attention to every word and sometimes just walk away and cool down first before approaching the
situation. Through these many different experiences and skills, I have been able to achieve many of the goals I have
set for myself and grow into who I am currently. As a teacher, I want to leave an impact on my students and others
that by giving it your all and by having a positive attitude you can achieve anything. I hope to give others the
strength to continue the mission they are set out to finish. I want others to be inspired to go out into the world and
help those who are in need and leave themselves a positive legacy in society.