Lots of different things can happen in an elementary special education classroom over the course of a day. And sometimes, the excitement comes from the adults instead of the kids.
“Linda frequently breaks into song or dance, bringing her humor to the class,” says teacher Chris Wettersten about teaching assistant Linda Dobroski. “The children adore her, and frequently seek her out for a hug.”
As a teaching assistant who works with the team of educators at Jackson Heights elementary school, Mrs. Dobroski says the most unique thing she does day-to-day is help children feel comfortable in their classroom. “Whether it be a kind word, a quick walk or just someone to sit with, I'm always there for them.”
Mrs. Dobroski has served in her role for 19 years—13 of them with Mrs. Wettersten. “We work like an old married couple,” Mrs. Wettersten remarks. “We need not use dialog, a quick glance or gesture and we are immediately on the same page. She is well-respected within the school and I frequently receive comments on her skill and savvy with various behavioral techniques.”
Mrs. Dobroski goes above and beyond to make sure her students are able to not only achieve goals set for them, but to surpass those goals. “The most rewarding part of my job is watching the expanse of knowledge the children gain over the year,” she says. “I also like to hear them laugh and smile while still learning.”
Colleagues say Mrs. Dobroski is known for bringing her patience and humor to the classroom, and always having a kind word for students and staff alike. Her character follows her beyond school as well, as she is currently a community habilitator and respite worker. “I enjoy doing numerous activities with the children I watch,” she says.
She grew up locally, having graduated from Hadley Luzerne, and enjoys being outside, golfing, hiking, and kayaking. She volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader for several years, and has been married 31 years with “three wonderful grown children.”