Meet Ms. Mazza, one of the newest members of Hen Hud’s English department! Ms. Mazza was drawn to the teaching profession from a young age, as she “loved the idea of helping young people shape their outlook on the world.” Ultimately, she settled on teaching English because of her long time passion for reading and writing. After choosing this career path, she made it her “goal to bridge [her] students’ personal life experiences with those of the characters in the literature that [she teaches],” and now strives every day to “create empathy, enhance understanding, and (hopefully) instill the same passion that [she has] for reading and writing within [her] students.”
This is Ms. Mazza’s second year at Hen Hud, and her third year as a teacher. Ms. Mazza spent her first year as a fifth grade ELA teacher before coming to Hen Hud! During her time here so far, Ms. Mazza has become appreciative of “how progressive and student-centered this school truly is.” She “love[s] being a part of an institution that allows [her] to get creative in the way [she] delivers [her] instruction.” Ms. Mazza also notes that she “love[s] her students,” as they “make every day fun!”
In the classroom, Ms. Mazza’s favorite book to teach is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. She says that “as an English teacher [she] love[s] the classics,” but knows that students often have trouble relating to them. Therefore, she feels that Of Mice and Men “is a unique classic,” because “there is at least one character who resonates with each student.” Ms. Mazza adds that “inclusivity is really important to [her],” so she “enjoy[s] watching each of [her] students make connections to the different characters as [they] read.”
Of course, Ms. Mazza also enjoys literature outside of school. Her favorite piece of all time is Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town, due to the “relatability” and the story’s moving message “about how we as humans should appreciate every moment that we are alive.” This message is especially relevant now in light of the constant uncertainty created by the coronavirus. Her most recent read was The Poet X, a novel written in verse by Elizabeth Acevedo. Ms. Mazza recommends this text to any reader in need of a good book to read, as she “absolutely loved the rawness and realness of the narrator.”
Aside from teaching and reading, Ms. Mazza engages in a plethora of interesting activities. She’s not afraid to get out of her comfort zone, and even went skydiving over the summer of 2016! Ms. Mazza is also “a lover of all things health and wellness,” and a “huge believer in living a healthy lifestyle / practicing good habits.” Therefore, some of her favorite hobbies are “exercising (specifically, weight training), cooking wholesome meals, and reading.” She also picked up some new hobbies during quarantine, including journaling. Every day since March, Ms. Mazza has been “jotting down three things that [she] is grateful for.” She says that this hobby has truly “opened [her] eyes to how important it is to … appreciate the simple things in life such as fresh air, a roof over [her] head, [her] friends and family, etc.”
Overall, Ms. Mazza wants students to know that she will always aim “to make [her] classroom a safe, comfortable, inclusive, and fun environment.” Welcome to Hen Hud, Ms. Mazza!