By Hope Salmond, Walker Valley Freshman
Mandy Picchiottino is a 29 year old 9th grade English teacher. She is married to Jordan Picchiottino and has one child named Roman.
She was born in Hawaii and has lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Micronesia, and Hawaii. Mrs. Picchiottino enjoys traveling and reading. You could consider her a travel connoisseur because she has been to 16 different countries which include: Mexico, Italy, Greece, Spain, and France. She shares her love for traveling by taking Walker Valley students to other countries to experience different cultures. Growing up Mandy Picchiottino never dreamed of becoming a teacher.
Mrs. Picchiottino’s journey to become a teacher was long, but it became her love. “I originally was going to be an occupational therapist but 3 years into it I decided to become a teacher. “I was at UTC for 7 years because I kept switching majors” she explains.
She switched majors because she felt like she was drawn to English. Her boyfriend at the time was majoring in English and was describing what he had to do for homework. This sparked her interest in teaching. She strived to become a teacher unlike her previous ones who intentionally humiliated their students.
During college, Mrs. Picchiottino was a student teacher for a third grade class. “I taught third grade and they were really nice but they were too dependent. I ended up teaching high school because they aren’t as dependent and I felt like I connect with them.”
After college, she landed a job teaching a theater arts class. “It was hilarious how bad I was. The teacher in the room next to mine would come in and correct me.” Picchiottino states. From this job she became an English teacher and is now a hit among 9th grade.
Her favorite thing about being a teacher is when former students come back and tell her how much they needed what she taught them. She also enjoys knowing she really connects with her students.
When asked about her strengths and weaknesses, Mrs. Picchiottino stated her weakness are discipline and she takes on more than she can handle. Her strengths are showing how something is relevant and earning the students respect by connecting with them. One way she connects with them is by keeping up with their likes for example, having social media.
Some advice she would give to seniors who are approaching the start of their college experience is to know what they want to do before they go so they wont have to stay longer than necessary. “What scared me the most about choosing this profession was the pay cut and the thought of not having as much security in my occupation.”
Mandy Picchiottino is highly thought of around the school. She is dedicated to her job and makes her class entertaining according to her students.