Second Grade Teacher
B.A., Early Childhood Education, Columbia College Chicago
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The students. I love getting to know my students and watching them grow over the year academically, socially, and emotionally. My absolute favorite is any “a ha!” moment, big or small. It’s so great to see a student realize their abilities.
Why do you choose to work at MPA?
I choose to work at MPA because of the importance that world awareness has for our mission and our community. Travel has always been very important for my husband and me. As kids, we didn’t get to see much outside of Illinois and the surrounding states, so it was eye-opening to travel outside of the U.S. for the first time.
The first time I traveled internationally, I went to Fiji. As many past students know, I have a deep love for a small island in Fiji called Vorovoro. I often focus our Global Week study on Fiji and learning all about the beautiful people, land, and culture while incorporating my experience and even a special message from a Fijian friend who I keep in touch with.
What is the most important lesson you want students to learn in your class?
The most important lesson I would like students in my class to learn is based around our class values: Always work on being confident, having integrity, and being a leader. With these three values we can achieve anything we choose to go after.
These also play into world awareness: When we travel, we have to be aware of other cultures and show respect to that culture. In second grade, integrity means doing the right thing when no one is looking. I hope this evolves into my students going out and exploring their world, but always doing it in a way that builds their confidence, shows their integrity, and allows them to be a leader in their own learning.
What experiences had the most influence on you?
We traveled to Fiji and Vorovoro recently with a group called Bridge the Gap. They bring people there from all over the globe for an educational cultural experience. At times this looks like college students studying the local culture, agriculture, and social aspects of the country. At other times, it’s groups of families coming together from all over the world to appreciate the Vorovoro culture.
While we were there, I watched my children and other families’ children play and learn alongside the Fijian children. It was absolutely beautiful. All coming from different parts of the world, knowing different ways of life but yet having so much fun learning and growing together.
I try to remember this daily in my classroom and hold space for each student’s unique background as they navigate their educational journeys.