Taddio answers the call

Published 12:48 am Sunday, March 20, 2011

Washington Montessori Charter School teacher Patty Taddio enjoys teaching and bringing her dog, Daisy, along for some quality education. (WDN Photo/Edwin Modlin II)

After growing up in New York and serving in the military, Patty Taddio said she knew she always wanted to be a teacher.

“I think I was born a teacher,” she said. “I used to play ‘school’ with my stuffed animals and dolls.”

After serving in the Army for two years in the medical field, Taddio thought that was her true calling.

She went to college on the G.I. Bill and it was then she decided to be a teacher.

“I went into education and it was a fit,” she said. “It was what I wanted to do; what I needed to do. I started out going to Miami-Dade Community College in Miami, Florida, then continued on to Florida International University.”

However, she said, she did not go into teaching right then, as she decided to start a family.

It wasn’t until she was living in Connecticut where she earned her master’s degree in education.

She has been in the field of education for over 20 years as a teacher’s assistant, teacher’s aide, teacher, and parent involved with her children’s studies.

“I was working up north in my hometown as a teacher, and most of the time have worked with middle schoolers,” she said.

According to Taddio, Washington Montessori Charter School found her through an Internet teaching service. After they contacted her and offered her a teaching position, the rest is history.

She is in training for Montessori and working toward getting her Montessori credentials.

Taddio said though teaching takes up a lot of time and energy, she still finds time to have a hobby.

“I moved down here and it’s just me and my Daisy,” she said, referring to Daisy, her Shih Tzu dog. “I love to read and walk down by the river as well.”

Since Taddio has been with Washington Montessori Charter School, she has gone on a few trips including camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting with the students.

Taddio said the gratification she gets from teaching is working with the kids, as she teaches in a multi-age class with seventh- and eighth-graders.

“I enjoy watching them grow,” she said.

When Taddio was teaching up north, she taught social studies to fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders. In Washington, she began teaching science, math, and English.

“And you can see, at least in two years, the big change and progression,” she said. “And middle schoolers are fun to teach because they’re right out of elementary school ą they still have that sense of wonder in them. They’re not quite in high school yet, but they’re seeking independence and going through so many changes (social, emotional, academic) that it’s almost like watching someone grow up right in front of you.”

Taddio said middle school is such a big change for students, and she sees herself as a mother first, having raised two children of her own. She enjoys watching her students grow and change as well.

Taddio said, with a smile, that if she were not a teacher, she jokes with her students, that she would probably be a stand-up comedian.

“But I don’t think I could make it as a stand-up comedian,” she said with a laugh.

When living in Florida, Taddio owned a Hallmark and office supply stores.

Though she was a lab technician when in the military, Taddio said she would probably be in the medical field if she were not a teacher.

“You don’t have to be a parent to be a teacher, but part of it is parenting,” she said.

Daisy, Taddio’s dog, is always at school with her and the kids as Washington Montessori Charter School is a pet-friendly school. There is also a pet Tarantula, named Velma, in her classroom. But don’t worry, it’s in a glass aquarium.

Taddio said there is so much about teaching that she loves and will continue to do it as long as she can.