As an elementary school teacher, my work centered around the cooperation, the development of confidence, and critical thinking. After specializing in Sociology of Education during my BA in sociology, I made reflexivity a central piece of my training as an elementary school teacher. I wrote my professional thesis on the importance of self-esteem in young students’ learning performances and looked for strategies teachers could use to foster confidence. I pointed to the fact that teachers were being taught didactical tactics as coding skills that would, when properly applied, easily unlock the students’ brains and insure pedagogical success.
My teaching is based on hands-on activities used to build multi-disciplinary, practical, long-term projects. I strive to foster a sense of place in each children and help them connect with the physical world (“natural” and “artificial”).
The Earth School is a project (may I say a dream?) I have had for over a decade now.
Twice I developed a year-long project to learn about energy with 4th and 5th graders. Through the year students learned about the production of energy, insulation, environmental externalities related to energy production and consumption, energy sources etc… The projects culminated in the construction by the students of doll houses designed to be energy efficient. Students gave presentations to the school community to explain the thought process.
One year the class focused on the school surroundings. We explored the geology, flora, fauna, our water sources and more. One project, based on the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy, took us multiple times on the local trails to be creative with materials gathered in the natural environment. we produced this little video to present to the school community.
One activity consisted in harvesting edible plants around the school and cook them.
Theatre has been a major focus of my work. I have students write/adapt texts, produce plays and present to the community at the end of the year. In 2006, at the International School of the Peninsula, the show involved two classes and was almost two hours long.
We then created this slideshow that all the families received at the end of the year.