GMercyU Education Alum Kiersten Gozieba

Meet Kiersten Godzieba

Education, 2016

Current Position: Pre-K4 Teacher at Queens of Angels Regional Catholic School

Story Last Updated: February 2022
Current Position Updated: February 2022

I went to a Catholic grade school and a Catholic high school, so I wanted to go to a Catholic college. Gwynedd Mercy University was very close to my house so I was able to commute here for the past four years which made it easy. As soon as I came here I felt a sense of community. I had a shadowing day with a couple of other students who would later become my best friends. Immediately, we had this great connection and I knew I was going to have a great team of support here. I knew it was going to feel like a family. 

From the beginning, my classes started out nice and gentle. It started off with exactly what you can handle. The School of Education professors slowly build you up until you are comfortable. Teaching lessons in front of your peers was difficult to do but they were supportive and positive. The professors are great resources and I still go to them now. It's been like a big family.

I did pre-student teaching and my special education portion of student teaching at Our Lady of Confidence in Willow Grove, Pa. I was unsure of how I felt about teaching special education before going into that experience, but it totally changed my mind. It gave me so much confidence as a teacher to see how you are at the helm of the classroom.  I was so nervous before I got into it because I thought they were going to just say, "here's your classroom, go teach," but it was an easy process. Each week we added a little more until I was the one teaching. It was a really nice introduction into how I would run a classroom.

There are times where I literally just look at the sea of children and think, "who put me in charge of them? What do I do?" Then I'll think of things Ms. Pierantozzi said in class to help me get through the moments where I'm stuck. It's funny how things come back to you. I definitely hear my professors circling in my head.

I was also part of the Special Education Club all four years and the Vice President my junior year. That position really helped with developing my leadership skills. That was the first time I was part of the club, so I got to see how things wroked from that leadership role. It was nice to have that balanced with me being a teacher and how they meshed together.

Currently, I am a Pre-K4 teacher at Gqueen of Angels Regional Catholic School. I still hear Ms. Pierantozzi in my head every week as I teach and as time goes on, I am so thankful for the academic foundation she provided us. I've spend the last four years creating and refining my own comprehensive curriculum for Pre-K4, which incorporates the guidelines for religious education provided by the Archdioceses of Philadlephia. Recently, I was part of the Middle States planing team for our success re-accreditation study, where I worked with a group of my colleagues to identify strengths and weakenesses in our school, develop a plan to address indentified areas for improvement, and collaborate with the faculty to implement the plan. My future plans include commencing work for a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education.

All of my experiences, both in and out of the classroom, have shaped me into being a Distinctive Mercy Graduate. To me, that means you take with you the values you learned and find a way to make those work in the career path you have chosen. You find a way to weave those into everything you do and how you spread that message to others.