I’m sure most of the community knows Jill Schwartz, whether you are her family, her friend, her past student, a parent, or a co-worker. I am fortunate to fit into three of those categories.
I first met Jill as a parent. My daughter and son were both lucky enough to have her as their second grade teacher at May School.
Jill doesn’t just teach math and reading, she teaches her students compassion and life lessons. She doesn’t just “tell” she teaches the “why.” She is funny and sarcastic yet serious and structured. From thunder brownies to the “sneaky E” (her students will know) she makes learning fun and creates a family in her classroom. Jill takes her students on adventures with the Boxcar Children, Tacky the Penguin, and all of Kevin Henkes’s characters. From her bubble blowing contests to teaching the kids what it feels like to be old by putting scotch tape on their knuckles, she makes an impact.
She has helped mold my children and so many others. I am forever grateful for the role she has played in my children’s lives.
I started working full time at May School when my son was in first grade as a one-on-one aide for a second grader. Jill Schwartz was his teacher and I was able to spend most of my day in her classroom. This is where I was really able to see what an extraordinary teacher she was. Before, I saw her from a parent’s perspective, now I was getting behind the scenes action. She was a perfect teacher to learn and grow from.
Jill is supportive without being condescending and is such a strong leader. I loved the way she was cool, calm and collected and this is when I started saying W.W.J.D. — What Would Jill do? I learned so much from her.
Jill went from being my children’s teacher, to my admired co-worker, and now the best of all, my friend.
Jill has a wonderful sense of humor and is so much fun to be around. She is sarcastic and loyal and such a genuine person. She is beautiful inside and out. I am going to miss seeing her every day at work. Her classroom will always hold the memories of her years at May. Thirty-three years at the same school is just remarkable.
I wish she could have had those last months teaching. I wish she could have had the goodbyes she deserved but nothing can take away from incredible career she has had and all the lives she has touched.
Cheers to you, Jill!
“Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” ~ Henry Brooks Adams