Mr. Semancik Celebrates 50 Years in Education!

Mr. Semancik, a full-time tutor at Rectory, has been an educator for over 50 years!

Mr. Semancik, a full-time tutor at Rectory, has been an educator for over 50 years!

Recently, Mr. Semancik, who is a tutor in our learning center, celebrated his fiftieth year in education! Given this noteworthy occasion, we interviewed him and asked about his career.   

What was your first teaching job? “Well, I graduated in June of 1969 from college. I started my first teaching job in 1969, where I was teaching 8th-grade math and science in a public school in Canterbury, CT.”

Where did you go to college to earn your degree? “I got my bachelor’s degree at Eastern Connecticut State College, and I got my master’s degree at Wesleyan University.”

What was it like for you during your first year of teaching? “Teaching in 1969 and 2019 is very similar. Things haven’t changed. Kids are still kids, and teachers are teachers. Math is the same. Probably what has changed the most is some of the strategies teachers use today, and the other thing that has changed a lot is the technology. I don’t think I could teach [in the classroom] today because of all the latest technology teachers use in the classroom. You know, I would have a lot to learn about SMART Boards and all that new technology.”

What are some of the differences between then and now? “The biggest difference I notice, in addition to technological advances, is the way we use information. That’s a lot different than it was fifty years ago. I remember if I wanted to find supplementary material for math, I would go to a teacher’s store, and I would look through workbooks and find the skill I wanted. If I were lucky, I would find a book that had a couple of pages that I could use. Today, what is so different is that with technology, we can find so much online, almost too many materials. You know, not all of it is good. It requires wading through so many materials to find something that’s good. Back in 1969, I was trying to find something good because there wasn’t a lot.” 

What is one of your favorite memories of being a teacher?  “I think, like many teachers, it’s when you see a student who gets interested in something, or you see students figure something out that was tough for them to learn. When the light bulb goes off, and you see the sparkle in their eyes; that moment when they understand was probably the most rewarding and memorable for me.”

Thank you, Mr. Semancik, for your fifty years of dedication to teaching children and young adults. We hope you never leave Rectory because all those years of experience have made you an extremely valuable tutor to our students.