My Why - Joyce Masciopinto, Resource Teacher

October 24, 2023

Topic: My Why

It’s no surprise that Joyce Masciopinto only takes in rescue dogs. “I have a tendency to care for animals I find that have been abandoned by their mothers,” she states. “I have also sheltered birds, bunnies and even a baby squirrel.” As for humans, Masciopinto always felt empathy for others. “I don’t like it when others feel sad, undervalued, unheard, unwelcome, frustrated or are overwhelmed by their emotions. I am not sure why, probably a result of my upbringing, but I always wanted to help people so I studied nursing at Northern Illinois University and then switched to special education after two years,” she added. With that decision, Masciopinto moved back home, switched institutions and finished her education with a double major: education and special ed. She also earned a master’s degree in mathematics, all from Northeastern Illinois University. 

As a resource teacher at Twain Elementary School, Masciopinto strives to make her students feel like they matter, demonstrates to them that someone at school cares for them, and seeks to empower them to be all they deserve to be!  “I just want to provide them with the best opportunities to feel successful, cared for and supported,” she states. The students she works with are pulled from the general education class for additional instruction in reading and math. She also goes into the classroom to provide additional support in deficit areas with modifications and accommodations. The students on her caseload have IEPs and have struggled in the core curriculum classes. But Masciopinto’s high energy and personality suit her well for encouraging students to graduate from their IEP and re-enter the general education setting equipped with strategies to be successful. In fact, she was able to assist struggling twins who, in third grade, could barely read. She was able to terminate their IEP and they now enjoy reading and are in middle school. Although she doesn’t need rewards, she’s pleased to see her students’ successes. 

In her leisure time, this 17-year veteran stays very busy with four kids of her own, including one nurse and one special education teacher. She enjoys family vacations, working out, camping, hanging out with friends and being outdoors. Who knows? Maybe during one of her walks, she’ll come upon a deserted animal to take in, as she doesn’t have any rescues in her house at this time. Time for a new dog!