BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
It all started with a suggestion from a second grader. And now, Becky Koslowski is the new Spanish teacher at Pine Knob Elementary. Her first day was Jan. 17.
“My son Jacob came home with his Spanish folder one day and I said, ‘Why do you have your Spanish folder today?’ and he said, ‘Oh, she’s not coming back, mom.’ And so he’s like, ‘You should do it,’ which was kind of funny because I’ve been a Spanish teacher and taught English as a second language,” said Koslowski. “Then, over winter break, I was kind of thinking about it and if this was right for our family. And after break, I talked to the principal (Jodi Yeloushan), and she knew me just from volunteering in classrooms and being part of the PTA. It all happened pretty quickly that I had an interview, and here we are.”
The current school year is Koslowski’s 14th year of teaching. She taught 11 years in Baltimore, Md., and moved with her family to Clarkston on Feb. 4, 2017.
“It worked out best with our family, for me to just stay home for a little while working part-time,” Koslowski said. “So I was working part time for Berkley in their shared time program as a shared time evaluator. And then, I started in Troy this year, just teaching ESL two days a week, just kind of putting my feelers out there, wanting to get back into the teaching world. It’s just a bonus for me of being able to be in the same district as my kids.”
Along with her husband of nearly 10 years, Jason, Koslowski has four children, Jacob, 7, Anna, 5, Olivia, 4, and James, who just turned 1.
“I have two kids here (at Pine Knob) and then I have two more kids that will be coming,” Koslowski said. “It’s just fun to be a part of this great community. There’s no way I felt like I could throw away this gift of working here and working with these kids. It’s just been wonderful. When we moved to Michigan, and we were looking and talking to people about school districts, I just heard so many great things about Clarkston. I love all of the extras that they do.”
Teachers are happy and supported within their buildings by their colleagues and principals, she said.
“I’ve never walked into a school building and had so many resources at my disposal, which is great,” she said. “As a parent, I’m happy to see that, and what I have been believing to happen is actually what happens. I think that there is a real focus on students and what’s best for students.”
Koslowski added that having this new job is the best of both worlds.
“How lucky am I? It’s almost like being a stay-at-home parent in reverse. Because I get to be with my kids, I get to watch them grow and develop,” she said. “Clarkston is a sense of community, so I already know all of these kids from soccer and baseball and hockey and I get to watch their friends and the kids in their class also grow.”
Is this job something Koslowski can see herself doing for the long haul?
“My projection would be long term,” said Koslowski. “I have a one-year-old, so it will be a while before he even gets into kindergarten. And by the time he’s through elementary, my oldest is going to be in college. I couldn’t imagine walking away on the opportunity to be here. I love the kids here and they just come as their best selves. It’s so fun to be a part of their lives.”