Teacher Profile: I grew up in Andover, MA with my mother, father, and three older siblings. After attending The Pike School and Phillips Academy Andover, I attended Trinity College to study psychology and to play on the women’s ice hockey team. Through my coursework, I recognized my affinity towards the study of child development and educational topics. Upon completion of my Bachelors of Science, I was accepted to the Collaboration Internship program between Lesley University and The Pike School. I earned my Master’s degree in Elementary Education and a Massachusetts Initial Educator’s License. I joined the Berwick community in 2014 as an assistant teacher, admission office intern, and varsity assistant coach. I am excited to take over and build upon the strong second grade program at Berwick during the 2015-2016 school year.
Why do you love teaching second grade? Second grade is typically the year that students begin to make the transition to reading to learn as opposed to learning to read (which continues in third grade and beyond). Second graders have a devotion to facts and order that helps them retain much of what they learn. They need help from their teachers to balance their desire for order and perfection with an appreciation for surprises and mistakes. Second graders need to see their teachers and peers make mistakes and laugh them off. They push me to make connections between bodies of information and, most importantly, to act on these creative thoughts. All the while, second grade students begin to broaden their perspective of the world around them in order to gain a greater appreciation for their classmates, school community, and outside world.
How do you define great teaching? I read a quote in graduate school which said, "Children don't care what you know until they know that you care." A great teacher understands that children can only be expected to take risks and perform optimally when they feel safe, respected, and truly valued. A teacher must make time to develop strong personal relationships with each individual student based on the features that make them unique. Once tenets are put in place that confirm to the child that their ideas and actions are essential to the success of the group, only then can the teacher implement the appropriate strategies that will bring on meaningful learning. A teacher’s job is to frame and protect this culture within the classroom so that students can stretch, sometimes uncomfortably, to reach their goals. What is your classroom motto or theme? Everyone’s different, but we are all apart of the puzzle.
What is your favorite thing about the Berwick Lower School? The camaraderie. It truly takes a village to provide a complete education for a child. Whether it means collaborating with students, parents, faculty, or staff, Berwick’s Lower School recognizes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As well, it is essential to model cooperative engagement to the students as they practice various daily skills within the classroom.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.