California Educator

August / September 2018

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"One of the reasons I ended up in the classroom is because my mother and other teachers clearly showed a passion for what they did." —Steven Bilek, UTLA and his grandfather was a teacher. He is a third-generation male teacher. He's got the genes." She makes a point of going into Ste- ven's classroom two or three times a year to teach a lesson and watch her son in action. She appreciates getting back in front of students, and she thinks it's a teaching moment for her son as well. "He can grow from this," she says. "He watches and participates. At the end of the day, I ask, 'What did I do that you can carry on?' For example, he's amazed that I can look at a kid and they settle down." St e ven says hi s moth er 's inf lu ence goes beyond those days when she joins him in his class. "My mother has of fered me a lot of advice over the past two years about being in the classroom , from parents to class managem ent to grading and keeping it all under control. One of the greatest things I have learned is to be excited about every lesson." All in all, the experience has not only strengthened the teaching bond between mother and son, it has reinforced Gayle's decision to return to the classroom when her term on the CTA Board ends. "I want to finish my career as a teacher. It 's b een my life, and I love w hat I 'm doing," she says. The Quarcelinos Theresa Quarcelino retired a few years ago from a teaching career that spanned 41 years and took her to Arizona, Col- orado, the Navajo Nation , and finally California. She is now supervising student teachers in El Centro through San Diego State University. S h e i s p r o u d o f t h e f a c t t h a t h e r two adult children are teachers. Amy Quarcelino is vice president of the Braw- ley Elementary Teachers Association and is in her 11th year of teaching middle school English. Lee Quarcelino is presi- dent of the Holtville Teachers Association and teaches at Pine Elementary School. " I n e ver sai d to my ki d s, ' D on't b e a t each er. It 's not w orth it,'" Th eresa observes. "It is worth it. It's rewarding on its own. I was very pleased they both decided to go into teaching. I don't know if they'll do it for the rest of their lives, but they are happy. ey are my pride and joy in what they have accomplished." Although Lee was inf luenced by his Steven and Gayle Bilek. Photo: Marc Sternberger mother, he says, it was his sixth-grade teacher who prompted him to go into the profession. "It had been a difficult year for me, and I would come home crying. But one of my teachers helped me turn the year around. He was an inspiration to me." L e e tr i e s t o p a ss th a t a l o n g t o h i s own students. "Every year, as an icebreaker, I ask the kids what they want to be when they grow up. When I hear that some want to be teachers, I try to help them. Last year, I had three kids in my classroom who want to go into teaching." Amy was inf luenced at an early age when she began "playing school" with her stuffed animals as students. "My mother would remind me, 'Don't forget you have papers to grade.' She never hid that it was hard," Amy recalls. "I think it was the impact of my moth- er's work that influenced me. I saw how much she cared and how much she loved it. Both my brother and I decided that's what we want to do. We want to make a difference in a child's life." Newly Hired CTA Members: A Don't-Miss Insurance Opportunity I F Y O U ' R E A newly hired CTA member, you have a special opportunity to get disability insurance and up to $200,000 of life insurance without answering any health questions, if you apply within 180 days of starting work. Act now to get the protection you deserve from the only CTA-endorsed provider of disability and life insurance — Standard Insurance Company. Go to to learn more. 65 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 018

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