Fifth Grade Teacher (formerly first grade)
10 years teaching at Country Day
BA, Washington & Lee University
Why did you become a teacher?
I really loved learning and thrived in a school setting growing up, so teaching and helping others develop a love of learning seemed like a natural choice. For me, it is not about acquiring knowledge, but more about enjoying the learning process. As a teacher, I want to create an environment that fosters enthusiasm and perseverance. I want my students to have fun in the classroom and make positive connections to their peers and the curriculum. If students love coming to school, and I can get their buy-in at a young age, then I feel I have set them up with a solid foundation for the rest of their educational careers and beyond. It is also incredibly rewarding to be part of a student’s journey—to see their growth, to be a constant source of support for them, and to watch their confidence soar when they realize they can overcome challenges. I love watching students realize their potential and uniqueness. It’s the reason why I teach.
How do you feel about moving over to Middle School?
I am thrilled! This opportunity allows me to further develop my craft and dive deeper into subjects like history and writing. I have taught in several grade levels during my time at Country Day, and what I’ve found is no matter the age of the students (or the content!), the key ingredient is the connection you make with them. My Lower School students are amazing—they have wonderful stories to share, keep me laughing, and bring so much joy to the classroom. When I think about transitioning to fifth grade, I am excited to advise and teach students during such a pivotal developmental timeframe. They are managing insecurities and friendship dynamics, discovering their passions, and juggling more responsibilities. Fifth graders are not only learning how to build good study habits and the ins and outs of an essay structure, but they are also discovering who they want to be and what lights them up. It is an honor to walk alongside students during such an impressionable time in their schooling.
What is special about Country Day?
Teachers at Country Day truly know their students. When a parent entrusts their child to us, they are essentially sending a piece of their heart to school each day. Country Day parents can feel confident that we love their children as our own. I spend so much time with my students that by the end of the year I do know them as well as I know my own two children. I’m invested in the well-being of my students, and I enjoy partnering with their parents. The relationships Country Day teachers build with families extends well beyond the one year a child is in our class. Country Day students are receiving an excellent education and an incredible support system. That is something you don’t find everywhere.