Teacher Feature: Ms. Filiaci


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Most would assume that mathematics is all about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms when, in fact, it is all about understanding. What better representation of that message than Ms. Filiaci? 

From as early as she can remember, she had always loved math and wanted to be involved in it– to become that beloved, algebra teacher. She asserts, “I’ve always loved math– especially algebra– and was good at it! I wasn’t sure what else to do with it at the time when I was ready to apply for college, so I went into education. I always loved helping people, so the two went hand-in-hand.” 

To know where you are meant to know where you began. For Ms. Filiaci, this beginning was in the library: “My very first job was working at a library– organizing books, checking out customers, etc,– when I was a freshman in high school.” 

During her college years, she had spent several hours sitting in various high school classes to observe the different teaching styles of teachers. Doing this hands-on experience helped develop her own teaching style. Ms. Filiaci claims that her student teacher, guidance counselor, and professors were influential mentors as well.

As an educator, mentor, and influencer of both students and colleagues, Ms. Filiaci advises future and current teachers to “stay organized and on top of grading.” Before she became an algebra teacher, she received several precautions, including that “no two classes of students are the same. Even if it’s the same subject and the same age of students, you’ll never teach the same lesson exactly the same in all of your classes.“ 

Although she enjoys teaching, the algebra teacher shares the best and worst thing about the job: “The best thing about teaching is the ‘a-hah!’ moment when a student finally understands something. The worst thing about teaching is the lack of time I have to get through the material I am required to teach.”

The Ms. Filiaci that a majority of Boro students may see is the focused, hard-working, and knowledgeable teacher; however, there is another side of her: the fun Filiaci. When asked if she could take her students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, she declared, “A remote forest or island to show [my students] that mathematical concepts can occur anywhere in nature.” She believes that wherever one goes, math will follow. For instance, if she wins the lottery, Ms. Filiaci would still “stay somewhat involved in education, working as a part-time private tutor and professional organizer.”

John Lennon once wrote, “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” When it comes to mathematics and Freehold Boro, Ms. Filaci is where she’s meant to be.