Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania and lived there until moving for college. My parents and my brother’s family still live in the Reading area. In April of 2017, I was overjoyed to welcome my first nephew and assume the title of an aunt. When I am not teaching or creating things for the classroom, I enjoy traveling to new places and decorating cakes.
How did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher?
I remember deciding I wanted to become an elementary teacher when I was sitting in the chairs of my own elementary classrooms. I never wanted to miss a day of school and that desire to be in the classroom has remained with me. I was blessed daily by elementary teachers who poured their hearts into their teaching and student’s lives within and beyond the classroom walls. They invested in building relationships with their students and were always able to make our learning fun and exciting. My teachers’ dedication inspired my own passion for working with young children and left me with a desire to give back and share the joyful experiences I had received as a student. I am excited that I am now walking in the footsteps of my former teachers and enabling children to grow in knowledge all while keeping Christ at the center.
Where did you go to college? What was your degree in?
I went to Grove City College in Grove City, PA for 2 years before transferring to Messiah College. I earned a Bachelors in PreK-4th Elementary Education and Special Education from Messiah in 2017.
What is one of your favorite books? I have many children’s books which I enjoy and want to share with my class. To this day, I still have a particular love for the book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and the Paddington books by Michael Bond.
What is one of your favorite things about teaching Pre-K at Covenant?
One of my favorite things about being the Pre-K teacher at Covenant is that I am part of a larger community where Christ and Truth are boldly proclaimed every day. As the Pre-K teacher at Covenant, I am excited about my particular role to lay the ground work in modeling and teaching the Truths about God and His creation to preschoolers. It is rewarding to see the Truth be planted and take root in their young hearts through praying together, reading God’s Word, memorizing scripture and catechism, and singing praises to God. I am thankful to know the Truths presented and instructed to my Pre-K students will continue to grow and flourish as they move forward in their education at Covenant in the grammar and upper school.
What would you say are some things that are unique or special about Covenant’s Pre-K program?
There are several elements which make Covenant’s Pre-K program unique among other programs. Our aim to provide a classical Christian curriculum makes our mission distinct. Knowledge and application of Christ and His Word are central to our curriculum. Whether children are building blocks in a center or learning to write a new letter, our aim is to develop the whole child, mind and soul, and to nurture them in becoming more Christ-like in every area of their life. We accomplish this goal through daily Bible stories and prayer, modeling and training Biblical character and values, and encouraging children to learn through a Christ-centered lens. Our Pre-K lessons and activities are structured to prepare our preschoolers for a smooth transition into the classical Christian education they will receive in the grammar school. We create experiences which will introduce the children to classical education and methods. Walk in our classroom door and you will see preschoolers who are engaged through songs, rhymes, games, movement, show and tell, stories, and multi-sensory learning experiences.
Preschoolers who attend Covenant additionally benefit from smaller class sizes. The smaller community provides the preschoolers with a comfortable transition from home to school as well as more individual attention from the two teachers in our classroom. One element which makes Covenant’s Pre-K special is the significant role families have in the program. Families are integral to what we do in the classroom. We seek to partner with families and reinforce at-home training. Our Pre-K meets this objective by providing resources and extensions to classroom instruction, communicating with parents frequently, and inviting them into the school.
How does Pre-K prepare students for Kindergarten?
Preparing for Kindergarten and school success is a process that begins long before children walk in Kindergarten on the first day. Our Pre-K program uses many play-based, interactive activities to equip children with the foundational skills and tools needed to start strong in Kindergarten. In Pre-K, children build the necessary prereading and prewriting skills for manipulating letters and sounds as they learn to read and write. Fine motor and gross motor activities during Pre-K strengthen children’s fingers and hand grasp for improved balance, cutting, and pencil control in Kindergarten. While academic growth is important, our Pre-K program additionally focuses on developing social, emotional, and practical skills which are needed for learning in a community setting. Children work on learning to listen and follow directions and routines, respect authority and others, control impulses, and demonstrate positive social skills. These are just a few of the building blocks required for academic growth and everyday life. Pre-K’s circle time, group games, and free play provides the training ground for children to practice these skills which they will carry into Kindergarten and beyond.
Describe the atmosphere of your classroom.
Any visitors to our Pre-K classroom will perceive it is a joy-filled classroom. It is a space where everyone feels drawn to come in and see what is happening. The preschoolers’ laughter, excitement, and curiosity indicate our classroom is a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment where they feel safe and supported to learn and grow. An atmosphere of order and structure is evident in our Pre-K and provides a place in which our young children are able to focus more on learning. We ensure the physical layout of the classroom is organized in order to build students’ attention and promote ownership for taking care of the classroom. Likewise, we establish routines, procedures, and clearly stated boundaries to help our students feel calm and relaxed in knowing what to expect. Above all, there is a sense of community within our classroom walls, where we as teachers and students trust and care about one another. Both teachers and students are expected to honor Christ by being respectful in our attitude, words, and actions toward one another.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a Pre-K teacher?
There are many wonderful benefits about being a Pre-K teacher. Pre-K is a year of new beginnings where everything is a first-time experience for young children. It is rewarding to be on this brand, new adventure with them as they wonder and delight in experiencing God and His creation. Their young, curious minds often teach me to assume a renewed perspective, and I experience growth along with them. I recognize a child’s first experience in school is vital in forming the attitude and motivation for the journey of education which is ahead. While the call to teach Pre-K embodies this significant task, I find the opportunity fulfilling to help children build this foundation for love of learning. I enjoy investing in the initial experiences which can shape the hearts and minds of children towards a joyful view for the riches found in learning.
What is something you’d like to say to a mom or dad considering sending their child to Covenant’s Pre-K?
Choosing a quality, Pre-K program is certainly not an easy decision. I once heard the advice that it is valuable to look at the end as we start forming the beginning. Pre-K is recognized as a critical time of unparalleled development and training in a child’s life. There is no better time to begin teaching and reinforcing the Truths you want your child to know and embody for the rest of their lives. Covenant’s Pre-K is invested in partnering with families in their responsibility to teach and train their children in the Lord. Our mission is to nurture and shepherd preschoolers in the Truth in order to provide them with a strong first step in their journey towards becoming our next generation’s leaders and learners for God’s service. If this is an aim you prayerfully desire for your child, I encourage you to learn more about the Pre-K program at Covenant Christian Academy.