National Stuttering Association

Nina ZitoElementary School Teacher

    Nina Zito

    Brooklyn, NY
    Elementary School Teacher
    NYC Department of Education

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.
    As an elementary public school teacher, I plan and execute lessons for my students in word work, reading, writing, math, science, social studies and social emotional learning. I interact with my colleagues and the parents of my students on a daily basis.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
    The most challenging part of my job is never knowing how my stutter will be that day. There are many activities I am required to do such as Parent Teacher Communication, Observations and Read Alouds that I have to do, even when speaking is difficult.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it and how do you currently disclose your stuttering to unsuspecting co-workers, clients and or customers?
    Yes, I disclosed my stuttering right away and it was very well received by my administration and colleagues. Every May for Stuttering Awareness Week, I have a table in the main lobby with information and giveaways (thanks NSA) to educate others on stuttering and what exactly it entails because quite honestly, most people just don’t know!

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
    Stuttering definitely makes me more understanding and a better listener and educator because I know what it’s like to have a struggle and overcome that struggle, whether it is “seen” or “unseen.”

    What is your proudest moment at your current company?
    My proudest moment right now is of my students who are doing a wonderful job at remote learning.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?
    I would love to continue to teach and educate students and their parents and if some education about stuttering is included, that would be wonderful.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
    Days might be challenging and speaking might be hard but you are your biggest advocate. Advertising my stutter always worked well for me and I hope it does for you too. We are all in this together and you most definitely should not give up on your dreams because you are not alone in this!