Get to Know Mrs. Pezza!

Alyson Tse-Ching Yuen

Interview with Mrs. Pezza

By Alyson Tse-Ching Yuen

For some students in Carle Place, Mrs. Pezza may be known as their teacher in English 11 or Creative Writing. She spends much of her time in the school reading books such as Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and helping students to write short stories and poetry. However, what some may not know is her life before becoming a teacher at the school, how she found her passion for English, and general facts about her life. I interviewed her to discover the answers to all these questions and more. 

  1. How did you know you want to be a teacher?

Mrs. Pezza

“I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in high school. I had a wonderful English teacher and she was so much fun. I loved going to her class. She was really nice and she seemed really happy. I thought ‘oh, that seems like a wonderful job in which you get to read books to kids all day and then talk about them. It felt like a giant book club to me. I just loved the idea of working in a high school with kids, it seemed like a dream job.”

  1. Was there anything you wanted to be other than a teacher?

Mrs. Pezza

“I would say there was a time in college that I really wanted to be a reporter. I took a journalism class and I really loved going out into the community and interviewing people. I thought it was so much fun. I interviewed a member of an animal rescue mission who would bring puppies to the library during finals week. We could pet puppies to relieve stress and it was good for the puppies to socialize. I also interviewed the woman in the house next door to me who had been renting to college kids for the past 30 years. Hearing her life story was so interesting. I just really like meeting new people and getting to know them.” 

  1. Before working at Carle Place, where did you come from?

    Mrs. Pezza 

“I was working on the lower east side of Manhattan in the city for 8 years and I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English. I also taught 6th and 7th grade social studies and guided reading. I had an advisory class and an elective called book to film where we would read books as a class together that had been adapted as movies. We would compare the two and write a movie review.” 

  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? 

Mrs. Pezza
“I’ve been to a bunch of great places but there’s some places I haven’t been this time of year. I would love to go to Switzerland, Italy, or France to ski since I just love skiing.” 

  1. Why did you choose English as the subject you want to teach?

Mrs. Pezza 

“In high school, it was always my favorite subject. I loved reading and I would always be reading on my own, especially in the summertime. My family’s from Croatia so we would go to Croatia all summer long and I would pack suitcases full of books just to read. Fun fact, in the 2nd grade I was in the remedial reading class since I had a lot of trouble learning how to read. It wasn’t clicking for me right away. I remember I was going to Aruba with my family for spring break and my mom packed me a suitcase full of books. She was like “You’re going to learn how to read while we’re on vacation.” I was so upset about it but then our plane got delayed in the airport and I had nothing to do. My mom opened up the suitcase of books. I don’t know how it happened but it just clicked and ever since I could not stop reading. I love getting lost in books and historical fiction is really fun for me to read. When I was commuting to the city for eight years, I would read a ton on the train. I don’t read as much now since with two kids there isn’t so much reading for me these days but I get to do it at work everyday. It fulfills a personal passion of mine.” 

Even though some of the questions were cut out due to technical issues, I was able to learn about Mrs. Pezza that I wouldn’t have known before. Her ironic story of how, despite being an English teacher now, she at one point wasn’t doing well at the language was very interesting to me. Being able to understand the passion that she had for her work clicked with my own interest in reading and writing.