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CalSTRS LOVES teachers

Pension Sense blog | February 19, 2020

It’s February and love is in the air! It’s the perfect time to appreciate the contributions our teachers make to benefit the lives of their students. We asked our members what fuels their passion and their secret for a rewarding career.

Rosemary Mullane has long white hair.
Art glass by Paul Housberg, 2009​

Rosemary Mullane

Vallejo Unified School District, 4th Grade

Rosemary Mullane has nearly 30 years of service, during which she has taught grades 3 through 6, developed her school’s math curriculum and helped other teachers with strategies for struggling readers.

“I love the kids and their recognition of their potential as they develop confidence and get excited about learning.”

Rosemary believes it’s important to form a personal connection and approach to teaching. Her advice for teachers new to the field?

“Develop your own style…and figure out what your own individual gift is. That gift will help you inspire others – the students you’re teaching as well as yourself. If you can find a place where you’re making a breakthrough with the kids you’re teaching, keep going in that direction and build on it.”

Dr. Niladri Mantena

Los Angeles Southwest College, Professor of Computer Technology and Electronics

Dr. Niladri Mantena has short white hair and wears glasses.
Art glass by Paul Housberg, 2009​

Dr. Niladri Mantena has taught computer technology and electronics for more than three decades and has been with Los Angeles Southwest College for the last 25 years. He is a passionate advocate for teaching and learning.

“I enjoy teaching, helping students, guiding them, mentoring them, tutoring them so that they succeed in life.”

He stays motivated by continuing to learn and evolve.

“I keep in touch with the youngsters so I remain young too and help them understand the modern technology tools that are available to them. I upgrade myself and update my skills so I have the modern technology tools too.”

While Niladri acknowledges starting salaries of teachers are lower than that of other professionals, especially in his own computer field, he believes if you stick with teaching you will reap the rewards and make a difference to the next generation.

“Stay teaching and helping the youngsters. They need all of our help: your help, my help and everybody’s help.”