I believe every child can learn, but not every child learns in the same manner or in the same time frame.  I begin by looking at your child's strengths and build upon that foundation.  I teach to the CHILD, not the CURRICULUM.  If your child enters 2nd grade with a strong foundation in multiplication, we move on to division.  If your child enters 2nd grade knowing a few letters and sounds, we will expand on that knowledge base of letter/sound correspondence.  In essence, it is like have a personalized educational program just for your child's academic needs.

I believe in fostering a risk-free environment in the classroom.  Learning can take place when anxiety over failure is deleted. Attempts are applauded, whether or not the solution is correct.  As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." The key words in our classroom are STRUGGLE and PERSEVERE. We recognize when concepts are difficult and encourage each other to keep trying. I LOVE the smile that lights up the face when a child finally succeeds!

I believe in building up a child's self-esteem and honoring their spirit, while at the same time gently molding positive behavior choices. In my classroom, any behavior issue is dealt with by discussion. We first look at the choice that was made in the situation and ask whether a better choice could have been made. "If you had a do-over, what would you do differently?" We ask if any amends need to be made (say I'm sorry, write a nice letter, perform a kind service) to anyone else involved and follow through on that. The behavior issue is then put to rest.