Jeanine's passion for teaching and the development of students radiates beyond the four walls of her classroom unto endless horizons. Having taught at St. Mary's College Preparatory High School in Long Island, New York for over three decades she is known by all as a truly affectionate, sincere and kind friend, colleague, teacher and mentor. Even after having been referred to as the textbook definition of what a teacher should be, Jeanine continues to strive to learn each day alongside her students. The environment Jeanine creates in her classroom allows for students to feel comfortable expressing themselves in their work. Jeanine understands that not everyone is born an avid reader, and while she acknowledges this truth, she certainly does accept it as a standard, working to expose her students to all the ways English is embedded in our lives. Whether it be poetry, songs, children's books, romance novels or films. She recognizes that when there are 30 students in a room each responds to a different approach. While some may see this as an impossible task, Jeanine graciously moves forward on her mission to touch every student with her teachings. She takes note of the little things that would go overlooked by someone without Jeanine's kind heart. She realizes that personalizing education is the first step in this mission. It is not uncommon for Jeanine to turn off the lights before a certain class, because she knows it helps them to relax when they come in, or bring in muffins because she knows they took a tough exam before her class, or adjust her powerpoint slides to make them more appealing to their interests. Although this takes time, she is no stranger to a challenge! Which is why Jeanine will be found in the halls from sun-up to sun-down Monday to Saturday every week.... Yes! Saturday. While Jeanine breaks many cliches in her teaching style, one that is quite commendable is that teachers get "summers' off," this is quite untrue for her, as you will find her working hard throughout the summer, as well. Working to enhance her teaching style and improve the school’s English curriculum, serving as the Chair of the English Department. However, it is important to note that all Jeanine does is discharged through love, not necessity. The same way that this year she took on an added course in order to continue to teach a group of students she had taught for the past two years. Another cornerstone of Jeanine's compassionate and endearing teaching style is recognizing that students and teachers alike work hard to make it through each week, which became especially relevant during this pandemic. However, Jeanine started the St. Mary’s phenomenon of "Chocolate Friday,” long before COVID-19 originated to celebrate making it through each week of school. Each Friday Jeanine will bring in savory chocolatey treats to celebrate simply getting through another week, knowing that everyone has those weeks that feel longer than they actually are. This is simply a reflection of the time Jeanine takes to recognize the accomplishments of her students and colleagues. She is widely known across campus for personally investing herself in the life of each of her students. One student has said that she is one of those teachers who ask "How are you?" and really care about how you answer. Jeanine is known to encourage her students not only to be good readers and writers but to show them the value of education in their life. She coaches her students not only in their academic life but as a spiritual and personal guide as well, reminding her students of one of her favorite sayings: "Do not become overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" - Romans 12:21.One might say that honey, chocolate, and old english are Jeanine's favorite things in the world. While she might smile and nod along after this being said, it is quite evident that her students put that special twinkle in her eye, and that twinkle is sure to be recognized by hundreds of students whom she has touched the hearts of throughout her years as a sign of warmth, compassion and a good book! Jeanine Buatti is certainly one in a million.
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