For Kathy Costonis, teaching third grade for 29 years has been far more than she ever imagined. This year will mark her last year working alongside her team of colleagues and in front of a classroom of third graders who have brought her endless joy and reward.
“Teaching is way more than I imagined,” said Costonis. “Teaching is a sweet note on your desk when you least expect it, giggles and happiness, hard work and challenges, a million questions, time going by at the speed of lightning, and more questions. Teaching is noisy, quiet, demanding, full of joy, and a lot of fun.”
Retiring in the midst of a pandemic have made her last days teaching both busy and memorable. Over the last three months Costonis has been so busy adapting to remote learning, that she hasn’t had a lot of time to think about the difficulties that will come with her goodbyes to fellow staff and students at the Arthur T. Cummings School.
“I am going to miss the rhythm of the school year. The excitement of September when everything is brand new, holiday happiness, teaching my children to be kind, watching them persevere when things get tough, telling them they don’t have to get the best grades but rather be the best kids, and watching them go in June, hopefully taking some of these life lessons with them.”
Now, Costonis will take those life lessons that she’s taught for 29 years, and share them with her five grandchildren, who are all under five-years-old. While her teaching will shift from a classroom to a real-life setting, Costonis will miss the collaboration she had with her fellow teachers.
“Teaching with a team that has the same work habits and high expectations for themselves and their students, combined with a love of teaching, has been our superpower. Now it’s time for me to be with my grandchildren and teach them how to be kind and work hard.”
This year, prior to her retirement, Costonis was awarded with the Excellence in Education Award from the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce.