What do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
This year is my first year as the Preschool 2/3 Teacher and my second year at B’nai Shalom.
Why do you teach?
I have been teaching children, in one way or another, since I was 15 years old. I teach because I believe that there is no greater investment than the time, energy and money that we pour into children.
Why do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I really kind of stumbled into B’nai Shalom and I knew during my interview that it felt like home. It’s a child focused school which is more concerned about teaching the whole child than anything else. B’nai Shalom strives to meet the physical, emotional, academic and spiritual needs of each student. What more could you ask for?
What do you want students to get from having known you?
My hope is that each child I teach and know will “catch” my excitement for life and my ability to take everyday things and turn them into a drama-filled adventure. I hope when they look at pictures in a book, they want to jump up throw on a “costume” and act out those stories, even if they can’t yet read them on their own.
What is the most important life lesson students will learn in your class?
I feel confident that children in my class will learn to be more creative and more social. My background as a Theatre Instructor for children and as a Qualified Mental Health Professional make character education very near and dear to my heart and doing that through dramatic play and everyday problem solving are challenges I love. Learning to express your emotions and feeling free to be yourself in creative ways just make life easier.
What is the most important life lesson you have learned from your students?
Children have an amazing ability to do so much more than we think they can. They are fearless and so loving and accepting of everyone. They also forgive and forget so easily. I want to be more like that every day.
How do you teach to the way a child learns?
I love children because usually they will just tell you, “I don’t like that.” That gives me a chance to switch up how I am teaching. With small children or really shy children I try hard to look for non-verbal cues. Usually it’s what they aren’t doing or saying that often tells me more about what they are thinking or what they would rather be doing. The excitement, especially this year as I get my feet wet with this age group, is in the small class size we will have. I am really enjoying getting to know each one of my students and am making adjustments to my own grand plans accordingly.
What types of professional development have you completed in the past year?
Early last year I was trained in the Motheread “Story Explore” program, which is curriculum-based training for developing literacy skills in children birth to 11 years old. It’s a nationally acclaimed program and takes reading to children to a whole new level.
I attended the “Bringing Out the Best” Workshop through UNC-Greensboro with some fellow B’nai Shalom teachers. B’nai Shalom hosted a great collaborative workshop with Preschool teachers from the area and a play workshop for the Preschool staff.
In what ways do you collaborate with other teachers?
Last year, I was able to work closely with Ms. Nancy as the Kindergarten/1st Grade Assistant. She is an absolute wealth of knowledge. I look forward to continually picking her brain for ideas. Ms. Heather knows the little people in my class better than anyone at B’nai Shalom and so I hope we get a chance to team up with some little people activities as well. Weekly Preschool meetings bring us all together and to explore new ideas and best practices. It feels great to have the support of such amazing teachers. I am excited to bring my own strengths to the Preschool halls as well.