2020 Kansas Master Teacher Hillary Barscewski
First Grade Teacher
Cottonwood Elementary School
USD 385 Andover
‘Alan E. Beck once said, “In teaching, you can’t do the Bloom’s stuff until you take care of the Maslow stuff,” Hillary Barscewski states.
After observing an increase students’ behavior issues in recent years, Barscewski sought tools, training, and strategies to defuse these issues, including the use of the Second Step program and Zones of Regulation to teach children self-regulation and emotional control and the 2x10 strategy, spending two minutes each day for 10 consecutive days having conversations that are not school or assignment-related with students having a rough time.
“When students are hungry, hurt, tired or upset, they cannot fully participate in learning. A lot of times I find the hard-to-reach students are used to the adults in their lives yelling at them and talking down to them. When working with these children, I always start out conversations with, “I love you, and I care about you.”’
“During my thirty-five years in the education field, I have never been more privileged or honored to meet someone as dedicated and humble,” states a colleague. “Providing a colorful, engaging, and calm classroom environment helps exemplify her adoration of her students.”
“Hillary loves all students for the unique individuals they are,” states her principal. “Her love and compassion help each one evolve into students with self-confidence and high self-esteem.”
Barscewski earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Newman University in 2003 and her master’s degree in building leadership from Newman University in 2008. She completed her ESOL endorsement from Newman University in 2015. She began her teaching career in Wichita in 2004 and has taught first and second grades.
A former student tells of having Barscewski as a teacher, she corrected students’ behavior with an explanation “expressed with love and grace,” the student states. “When my family looks back over the experiences we have had with teachers, Mrs. Barscewski is always touted as the great one, someone we are very thankful for, respect and love.”
“Teaching is a work of heart,” Barscewski states. “Our work should never be done.”