B.A., Kentucky Wesleyan College
M.A., Concordia University
Born in Germany, raised in Kentucky, a consummate army brat, Mrs. McDermott earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Kentucky Wesleyan College before moving to Chicago to “change the world.” She earned her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University at Chicago and spent 10 years working as a second-grade teacher and instructional coach at an elementary school on the far south side of Chicago before coming to MPA. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and taking (and teaching) fitness classes at a nearby barre studio.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy so many things about teaching, but what I enjoy the most is coming to love 20-plus children every year. I love getting to know every child and the personality each brings to the classroom while fostering their love for all kinds of learning.
How do you inspire students to enjoy learning?
I inspire children to enjoy learning by making it real! I connect our learning in a real kinesthetic approach catered to the interest of every child. We engage in fun centers, bake, dance, sing songs, have guest speakers, and take numerous field trips to enhance and connect our learning.
What is the most important lesson you want students to learn in your class?
The most important lesson I want my children to learn in my classroom is to always build relationships with others around them. It’s so important for me to teach children how to love, take care of, and show genuine concern for each other. They are the future and kindness goes a long way.
What professional development activities have you participated in recently?
I am a big believer in the Responsive Classroom approach. A few years ago, I participated in a week long workshop and most recently attended two separate refresher workshops. The RC approach empowers educators to create a safe, fun, and engaging learning environment for all children to feel successful and valued. We never miss a Morning Meeting!