Manville High School’s History Teacher, Mrs. Pycior, Has a Unique Outlook on Teaching


Ashley Tomaszfski

Teachers always have their own way of teaching; they base it on what works for them and what works for their students. Students can adapt to how teachers introduce their lessons, but every student learns differently. Mrs. Pycior is a teacher at Manville High School who specializes in History. She has a unique way of teaching compared to other teachers at Manville High School. Many students at MHS have gained a deeper understanding of content just based on how she presents it. 

Mrs. Pycior was able to find a way to teach her students that works for her and them. She has had a diverse group of students and peers to help shape her into the teacher she is now. Before she taught here, she taught at Lawrenceville Elementary, Hopewell Middle School, Hopewell High School, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, and many other schools from kindergarten to high school. She has been surrounded by different educators and was able to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for her. Mrs. Pycior states, “We never stop growing or being exposed to new people or experiences, so I think that classrooms and methods of teaching shouldn’t necessarily look exactly the same year to year.” Her point of view on teaching always changes based on the environment around her. 

Many may wonder how she has figured out her effective lesson plans on her own, in which she communicated she likes to sit down and look at everything surrounding the content from different angles. She starts by evaluating what she wants to know in regard to her expectations and different craft ideas around them. She mainly teaches juniors and she wants to base it on where they left off last year with skills. Mrs. Pycior takes assignments she has used every year and switches out details to help with skill building. She goes through 6 or 7 activities a year and is flexible with her due dates. All she looks for is the effort. If students need help, she lets them hand in assignments anytime during the unit for full credit. With this, students are able to sit down, get the help they need, and work at a pace that helps them. This helps students so they don’t fall behind due to mental health, illness, family concerns, and/or extracurriculars. Mrs. Pycior cares about her class and how they progress, but she wants her students to also know that other aspects of life are important, including their health. 

Mrs. Pycior decided to start teaching the way she did because she had a hard time in school. She based her teaching lifestyle on the way she was able to learn. Teachers that she had a hard time with, she was able to think about how students would have learned more from them based on what she would have changed. Mrs. Pycior based her teaching career on what helped her in school to help students with their success. 

Students adapted quickly to her lessons, but there are always going to be difficulties with students. She compared this to life outside of school, where not everyone is going to get along, but she cares more about the effort. Students knowing that she cares, understands, loves every student, and supports them makes more of a difference than a teaching style will ever do. She states, “ If students don’t feel safe (mentally and physically) in your classroom, there’s not going to be much learning going on.” Mrs. Pycior cares about her students’ mentality and that will always be her priority. 

This change was created during her second year she started working for Manville High School where she decided to change the way she teaches and how she presents her assignments. The students were also more comfortable asking for help and being able to get clarification due to this adjustment. She stated, “ I had less marking period failures and more importantly I realized students were more comfortable coming to me asking for clarification and support in and out of the classroom. “ With her being able to change how she teaches different classes depending on the students, she is able to find a way that helps everyone. 

At Manville High School, all teachers want to see their students succeed, no matter if it is in their class or in someone else’s. Mrs. Pycior is one of those many teachers, and she will do whatever she can for her students to succeed. Mrs. Pycior will make sure her students make it to the end and that students strongly get there.