Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelors of Arts
Mrs. Jill Porvaznik
Being a teacher has been a life long plan. I knew at age 5, that I wanted to teach. After high school in Leesburg, I attended Lake Sumter Community College and then finished my degree at Southeastern University. It is one of my fondest memories, college can be difficult, but it is so much fun too!
After graduating, I was hired to teach 5th grade in Wildwood and I stayed there for seven years. I loved teaching and helping lead extra curricular activities. A chance of a lifetime came and lead me to Paraguay, South America where I went and taught for two years. It was life changing. It had always been my dream.
When I returned to the states I went back to fifth grade in Wildwood and continued teaching. I soon met my husband and then had my first daughter. I stayed home for almost ten years raising them and home schooling. It was so much fun and I am so blessed to have been a part of their educational foundations.
A few years ago, I headed back to the classroom and this time it included all of the schools in Sumter County as the Gifted teacher. Finally last year, I put down some roots at SSMS as part of the ELA team for 8th grade. We have such a great time as their middle school career is being wrapped up, and between Grad Night and the Dance and all the novels we read, it turns out to be a great year, and then they are off to High School!
Hopefully you are visiting this page to find some ways you can help your student be more successful on their end of year tests. I am a parent, and have two who are sitting down to take part in the state testing, so I do understand. Here are some ideas that might help your child too.
- Get more sleep. Every person is more successful when they are rested and can think clearly. Start tonight. Don't wait til the night before. They won't want to go to bed, but trust me...they need to!! Just yesterday I had one snoring in first period.
- Don't feed them sugar for breakfast. Coffee or soda loaded down with sugar will give them a burst of energy, and then they will crash. I don't want them to be measured on their success when they can't focus half way through the test.
- Please know they have been well prepped and they have been exposed to strategies to help them make smart choices. Your kid has brillant tendencies, I see it all the time!
- Their high school classes will reflect their success or non-success on the tests. Their choices of electives will be influenced by their scores.
- Hearing you believe in them will make a difference, do whatever it takes to make them believe it!!! I hear stories everyday how my students have amazing lives. They are strong and have courage to stand up to the future of life and friends. Their world is so pressured. I try and make it a safe place in my classroom. Your attentiveness to them and even when they ignore you, keep asking questions.
- Last, I want to thank you for being a great parent. It is a tough job. Most days it might feel like a thankless job, but I see your efforts reflected in your child. Kindness counts. You have a kind and generous student. They are a joy. They make me laugh and love my job.
It is a new day, new year and a last for my students. They will have many "lasts" over the next months, but we have so much to get accomplished before the last day of 8th grade.
Right now we are in part 2 of our study on The Holocaust. We are reading the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel and the students will be watching videos of survivors, of real accounts of the ghetto liberation, the concentration camps and studying the effects of this horrific event in our world's history.
We have many tests to accomplish and today was one of them. The PSAT test was taken by your smart student and when the results come back, we can see where their weak areas are and how to increase them in the next few years. The students understood the importance of the test with college looming ahead and financial aid being wanted my most.
Please be aware of the winter months we are having and keep sick, fevered and or coughing kids home, it does nothing but spread. Be diligent about the absentee policy and be careful not to over use it.
Grades are our checklist, so use Skyward to keep up with your child's grades and missing assignments.
Our class has been studying the Holocaust. We are discussing a very sensitive matter and I would love it for you and your student to continue the conversation at home. They will probably have a lot to share, which is a rare thing at this age, but they are being exposed to many facts and events. We have already read 6 short stories on this topic and the whole class is participating in small group projects reading a short novel. In a few weeks we will be reading the novel Night by Ellie Wiesel. If you can get a copy, join us. You will be amazed at the content. Also, there are many opportunities in central Florida to learn more about the holocaust through museums and even visiting a Jewish Temple.
Along with our study of World War II and The Holocaust which will continue into the new year, I could not let this time of year escape a few thoughts of your student.
First of all, if you need to be reminded, the student we share, he/she is awesome. I have really learned so much about them and heard about many of their hobbies, talents and even dreams. They are a great bunch of kids, I never leave school without a story and for sure a smile. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Second, I am so grateful for your support. I could not do this job without your efforts to help your child. With the new year, I will be calling on you to give even more. The spring semester is full of testing and wrapping up their middle school career.
Lastly, I am thankful to work in a great school, county and live in an amazing country such as ours. I have seen what's out there in other parts of the world, and we have it pretty good here. Let's all do our part to make it great, find the good in others and keep it all in perspective.
Have a wonderful break and take time to appreciate the little things.
What a start to 8th grade. We are quickly approaching the end of the first nine week grading period.
Our class has been reading some pieces of writing from the author Ray Bradbury. He is quite the descriptive writer, and he has introduced us to "speculative fiction". It is quite amazing to think of him writing ideas over 60 years ago as he sat in the basement of the library in the book Fahrenheit 451, that are a part of our lives today. Some examples are ear buds, large screen tvs, putting kids in school at such an early age, voting for important figures based on what they look like. He shares with the reader the ideas of knowledge is power, and knowledge is found in books. Don't ever let anyone take them from you. Stand up for what you believe in, even at the risk of death.
As you can see, it has been a study that has provided us with great conversations and discussions. These 8th graders have a keen mind when it comes to ideas of their world. The idea of equality was also addressed in an story we read as a class called "Harrison Bergeron". This author also was writing at a time when our country had just endured WWII and all of the atrocities of The Holocaust, and ridding the world of all things not common were held in high regard.
You might be surprised that your student takes part in such topics of study. Our current events and even their other classes offer such a wide range of topics that will lead to conversations to have with your kids... take time and have them. They might shrug you off at first, but if you bring up these two stories, I bet it will be hard for them to be quiet, they have a lot to say!