Explorations Classes

Liz Dowd

Class motto/mission: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  - Dr. Seuss
I am the Lower School Literacy Coordinator and a literacy teacher who works with small groups of students.  I have taught young children for many years.  I have been a kindergarten and first grade classroom teacher, as well as a Reading Specialist and private tutor, and have taught in both private and independent schools.  I earned my B.A. at Denison University, and my M.Ed. in Reading from the University of New Hampshire.  I met teaching colleague Marti Mulhern while in graduate school; many common influences have shaped our instructional philosophies, which helps us create a cohesive literacy program. I live in southern Maine with my husband and two children.   

Why do you love teaching Literacy?
We love teaching literacy because it provides us the opportunity to instruct students in small groups.  This allows us to get to know each student as a reader and as an individual. We use that knowledge  to plan appropriate, flexible lessons that target students’ specific needs and interests.  We are passionate about books and enjoy sharing this interest with our students. We are fortunate to have hundreds of books to choose from in the Lower School Literacy Room.  It is always exciting for us to watch the students grow as readers throughout their years in the Lower School.  

How do you define great teaching?
Good quality teaching of literacy includes small, flexible, group instruction and using a variety of excellent books and instructional materials.  Lessons are planned with a focus on phonics, fluency and comprehension skills at each student’s appropriate level.

Share your class motto/mission:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  - Dr. Seuss

What is your favorite thing about the Lower School?
One of the things that makes the Lower School so special is its collaborative, child-centered learning environment. Students are taught that it is equally important to be great thinkers and great human beings.  In the Lower School we foster the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.  Our teachers work together in the best interest of each child in a loving, supportive community.
 
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Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.