Lower School Assistant Principal
Summer Camp Director
Passionate about building strong classroom community and developing independent, lifelong learners, Mrs. Hicks holds an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Purdue University and a Master’s degree in urban education and leadership from National Louis University.
Why do you choose to teach at MPA?
Morgan Park Academy’s high standards of excellence uphold the well-being of students, families, and staff, which establishes an impactful educational partnership. Also, the objective to cultivate and nurture the whole child is ever present. Academics, creativity, social development, and global awareness are advanced in our various curricula and bloom into our rich school culture.
The balance of culture and high quality teaching make MPA a wonderful learning community.
What was remote learning like?
In my classroom, I have always incorporated blended learning. The use of technology has always served to offer additional learning modalities for visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learners. Therefore, when transitioning to remote learning, I mirrored in-person learning in many of the ways that I presented material to my students.
Something that was different, however, was the social aspect of bringing my students together while they were physically apart. I intentionally incorporated group projects in which students could see each other’s work, facilitated socially engaging Zoom meetings, and provided students the opportunity to confidentially share how they felt each day.
How did the children in your class react to the changes?
This fall, my students have seemed more aware of the ambient uncertainty and the reality of the pandemic, compared to last year’s second-graders, who did not have this evident anxiety last spring.
Again, I worked hard to assure my students that we would continue our daily schedule and routines even when we were remote, reminding them that they would see each other during our daily Zoom lessons.
Although keeping with our daily schedule and teaching the children how to Zoom at various times did take time, once everyone felt comfortable with the transitions, it simply felt as if the walls of our classroom had effectively broadened and learning was well underway.
Throughout this time, my top priorities for students have remained the same: academics and caring relationships. I aim to weave my love and care for children into how I interact with my students, opportunities for student engagement, and the execution of lessons.
I hold dear to my heart that people, little or tall, need to know how much you care before they care how much you know.