JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Natalie Gitto teaches third grade at Liberty Pines Elementary. She said she always wanted to be a teacher, but ended up in Corporate America. It wasn't until she had children of her own that she was able to transition into the classroom.
Gitto has been at Liberty Pines for five years and has also taught kindergarten. She said she loves teaching for the same reasons as most: seeing the students develop and grow.
However, she said her passion is teaching the children in her classroom how to be good communicators.
"It's so important to have a connection to each other, to your teacher, to your community, to your school," she explains. "It's very important to keep us socially connected, especially with technology and things like that. It's still good to be able to sit with your friend and read a book. I still think that's very important, to stay connected to each other."
Her students say they love her teaching style.
"My favorite thing about her is that she explains really well, and she makes learning a really fun thing," said student Luke Stevens.
"She lets us buddy read," adds Reilly McCabe. "She lets us do little worksheets and activities," she said.
Gitto said with all of the tragedies happening in schools lately, being connected is especially vital. She said she starts each day with a meeting where the students talk about what's going on in their lives and communities, as well what's going on around the nation.
Gitto said her goal is to make sure the students appreciate each other's differences and celebrate their similarities.