To me, this John Dewey quote describes innovation which is the cornerstone of a laboratory school. This is what I have strived for in my classroom for the past eight years at The Henry Barnard Laboratory School. A wise teacher said something to me when I was a first-year teacher that drives my pedagogy to this day: “If the textbook cramps your style, don’t use it!”
I enjoy finding new, creative, and different ways of making learning fun and meaningful through various tools, authentic resources, and hands-on exploration. I wanted to become a teacher because of the excitement I felt from witnessing the incredible learning potential and abilities of children and the impact and difference I could make for them. My students’ enthusiasm ignites my enthusiasm, and I always marvel at their ideas, insights, connections, and thoughts.
Above all, I think education is about keeping students engaged, inspired, and enthusiastic about learning. I believe in teaching and nurturing the whole child by meeting both academic and social/emotional needs. I also believe in differentiating instruction and materials to meet the individual, diverse needs of students to ensure they all thrive.
My goal is to inspire a love for learning and help students realize their talents and strengths and value effort and hard work. In our classroom, students are encouraged to identify their strengths and set personal goals for growth while practicing a growth mindset. My goal is also to emphasize conceptual understanding, and help students see “the big picture,” make connections to real-life applications and develop higher-level thinking skills by prompting students to analyze, problem-solve, and think critically and creatively. I strive to build a learning community that is a safe, welcoming, and student-centered environment where students feel a sense of caring, belonging, and support. I am grateful to be part of the Henry Barnard School community.