posted August 27, 2018 - written by Molly Rutter, SOE Graduate Assistant
“I love teaching because it is profession full of challenges, compassion, and creativity. Every child is different and requires me to react a different way. It may appear I am doing the same job year after year but each day is dynamic and refreshing. There is still no better feeling than that moment when a student overcomes a challenge due to your efforts. I get to be a stop of many children’s road to greatness and contribute to the education that in turn will allow them to contribute to the world. How can you not love going to work when that is the outcome day after day?”
Timothy Zgliczynski transferred from a larger university to Buffalo State after deciding to pursue a career in education.
“I was familiar with Buffalo State’s reputation for preparing teachers and I wanted a college that would provide me with the opportunities to be more than a number,” he said. “I am proud to say Buffalo State allowed me multiple opportunities to pursue leadership roles and expand my education beyond the classroom.”
Originally working toward a degree that would allow him to work with nuclear medicine, Zgliczynski changed his mind after he took a summer camp job that led to opportunities to work in adapted recreation programs for children with disabilities, as well as the Special Olympics.
“I quickly came to realize that those experiences left me with a feeling of fulfillment that went beyond simply obtaining a paycheck,” he said. “I knew I wanted a career that gave me the chance to make a difference every single day. I quickly changed my major and never looked back.”
Having always been interested in classroom and behavior management, Zgliczynski fondly remembers a course he took with Dr. Maureen Smith on Applied Behavior Analysis.
“I remember her lectures like it was yesterday and even use her ideas in my current teaching,” he said. “She took an incredibly complex concept and made it applicable to any classroom. I appreciated that practicality and I have never forgotten it. She made me feel like a teacher in training rather than a student.”
As a student, Zgliczynski was a member of the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) and eventually was elected president of the Buffalo State chapter. He also became president of the New York State Student Council for Exceptional Children.
“Both opportunities allowed me to travel the country, attend conferences and plan local teacher candidate workshops that would later lead to my love of professional development,” he said.
To this day, Zgliczynski is still a member of CEC and he attends conferences where he presents workshops for current and prospective teachers. Among Zgliczynski’s favorite experiences at Buffalo State are winning the President’s Medal and SUNY Chancellor’s Medal in 2002 and the President’s Medal again in 2005. He was also honored to give the commencement speech in both his undergraduate and graduate ceremonies.
“I felt as though it was my way to say ‘thank you’ to Buffalo State and all its faculty and students for the education they had given me,” he said.
Whether it’s integrating into the community, conducting research, or taking on leadership roles, Zgliczynski urges educators to always seek ways to grow in their craft and make an impact outside of their classrooms.
“Never stop learning,” he says. “Learn just one new thing a month. Over the span of a career, that will make you a dynamic and multi-talented teacher!”
Zgliczynski has been working for the Lancaster Central School District for the past 16 years and currently works as a 4th grade inclusion teacher. He says that every member of the Exceptional Education department at Buffalo State believed in him and inspired him to be the teacher he is today. He has also been an adjunct professor in the Exceptional Education department since 2009, where he has come to emulate the styles and personas of the professors he learned from.
“I am honored to work alongside many those professors today, as I owe them a great deal,” he said. “I came to Buffalo State to be more than a number and they definitely made that possible.”
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.