What do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I currently teach Kindergarten. I have also taught Kindergarten/1st Grade combinations and Pre-K. I have worked as the Kids’ Care director as well as the Little Star summer camp director in previous years.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I love children and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Seeing the expression on a child’s face when he or she reads for the first time or figures out a tough word problem is the greatest experience in the world.
Why do you teach at B’nai Shalom?
I teach at B’nai Shalom because I know that it is the most incredible learning experience a child can attain. I can honestly state that if I were Jewish, B’nai Shalom would have been the school that my own children would have attended. The staff is not only phenomenal in providing a stellar education- they truly care about and give their hearts to each and every child that enters the building.
What do you want students to get from having known you?
As a child’s teacher, I also see myself as his or her coach, cheerleader and absolute biggest fan. I hope to instill in each of my students self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. By being a constant source of positive reinforcement and encouragement, children will gain the self-esteem needed to continue on the difficult yet exciting and never-ending path of learning.
What’s the most important life lesson students will learn in your class?
One of the most important things I can instill in a child is that learning is never finished. To me, the end of a lesson does not signify the closing of a book or a particular subject, but rather an introduction to the potential for further learning. I hope to remove the negative stigma that is associated with making mistakes, and instead transform the way my students perceive making mistakes. Making mistakes is one of our greatest sources of learning. Therefore, by building an environment in which mistakes are not a source of pain or discouragement, but instead the source of knowledge and discovery, students will be more willing to take on challenges and engage in tasks that, although difficult will prove to be worth the risk.
What is the most important life lesson you have learned from your students?
Teaching is a reciprocal process: for every piece of knowledge that I can share with a student, there is an equally important piece of knowledge that the student can share with me. As a teacher, I know that I do not possess all the answers, nor do I ever find all the answers. With each student comes a whole new world of knowledge and experiences that can be shared and learned by all. I hope that every student will come to see themselves as teachers as well as learners. As my students continually learn and grow, I plan to continue on my own path of learning as well. My students are my greatest tool in growing as a professional and as a person.
How do you teach to the way a child learns?
I feel that it is important to take into account the various ways that children learn and provide opportunities for each child that are best suited for his or her learning style. I strive to make my classroom an environment that is encouraging and fulfilling for each and every type of learner. I carefully plan each lesson to accommodate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
What types of professional development have you completed in the past year?
Last winter, I attended the Staff Development for Educators conference on Singapore Math here in Greensboro. This past summer, I attended the National “I Teach Kindergarten!” conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I also participated in our staff “Math In Focus” training during teacher work week. I am looking forward to attending the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools conference with my colleagues this fall.
In what ways do you collaborate with other teachers?
I collaborate with my colleagues on a daily basis. The staff at B’nai Shalom is a team of professionals who work together to provide the best educational experience for every child in every class. Constant communication between staff members ensures a safe (both physically and emotionally) and complete educational experience for all of our students.