My name is Ginno Hitgano and I have been an instructor at Tip-Top Brain since 2016. I currently serve as an ELA/math group instructor for grades 3-8, an English/History private instructor for grades 3-12, and a test prep instructor for the SAT, SHSAT, and TACHS exams. In my spare time I like to spend time with family and friends, run, and eat at great restaurants. Throughout my educational career, I have lived by a quote that my dad said to my sister and I, “dream big and reach high.” This has inspired me to always give a one-hundred percent effort in everything I do, and is a work ethic I try to instill in my students daily. Through my experiences, I have learned that the most successful people are the ones who have 20% opportunity and give 80% effort. With this in mind, I want to always give 100% to my students in the classroom, even on difficult days.
I grew up in the NYC public school system and have attended public school from grades K-12. In high school I was part of the honor roll, the honor society, and was enrolled in both honors and AP classes. Some of the AP classes I took were AP English Literature, AP Psychology, AP US History, AP Global History, and AP Government/Economics. I was also enrolled in numerous honors classes, including biology, chemistry, and algebra/geometry.
It was always a dream of mine to attend college. I attended CUNY Queens College and graduated in the spring of 2019, where I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education (grades 7-12). Throughout my time at Queens College I was on the dean’s list, a provost scholar, and graduated summa cum laude. As an undergraduate student I was also part of a program called Teacher Opportunity Corps, where I worked in high-need schools, helping students who have not been given the resources needed to succeed. Moreover, my undergraduate thesis was on federal policy in education and how certain policies have a detrimental effect on low-income areas. I chose this topic because of what I experienced working in high-need schools; I wanted to figure out why certain schools in New York City were failing. While working on my thesis, I found out that funding for schools is rooted in test scores. The federal government will only provide funding to schools whose student body meets the testing requirements. For low-income areas, most schools do not have adequate resources to meet these required test scores. Thus, these schools do not receive funding and begin to fail. As a teacher, I want to make sure the students who do not have the resources to learn, succeed — albeit the difficulty.
I am currently attending Teachers College, Columbia University on a partial scholarship and will be working towards a Masters degree in Developmental Disabilities, leading to permanent NYS certification in working with students with disabilities (grades 7-12). I will be graduating in the Fall of 2020.
I knew teaching was my calling when I was fourteen years old, volunteering as a teacher’s assistant in a second-grade classroom at my local elementary school. From then on, I knew I wanted to work with students. As I have gone through my teaching career, I am inspired by my experiences and they have further solidified my passion as an educator. With that said, I currently have a dual NYS license in Social Studies (grades 7-12) and Students with Disabilities (7-12) and have worked as a Social Studies teacher at two high schools in Queens. Working in these two schools has definitely helped me foster positive relationships in the classroom and helped me build rapport with individual students. I have also been able to work on my practice as a teacher, improving on lessons and content delivery. When I am not at Tip-Top Brain, I work as a high school Special Education/ISS teacher. As part of the Special Education department, I collaborate with my colleagues as an IEP caseload manager and review IEPs for my students. It is my responsibility to ensure my students are receiving the services and accommodations necessary to become successful learners in the classroom.
Working as an educator in NYC public schools has provided me with the tools necessary to enact change in my community. The tools I have acquired as a pedagogue have translated well at Tip-Top Brain — working here has provided me the opportunity to build relationships with students that I would not be able to build in my own classroom. The small student-to-teacher ratio at Tip-Top Brain allows me to know my students well, in which I am able to adapt my teaching strategies to fit the students’ needs. The most rewarding part is helping students become academically confident, knowing that if they set their mind to a goal, they can accomplish it.