Elgin Academy is a place where every student is valued and celebrated for who they are as individuals. As a member of this amazing community, my priory is to support our students' educational experience through summer programing, the website, events, and fundraising. I am truly grateful to have found a place which cherishes every child including my own.
- Tanya Moore
Coordinating the summer camp programs at EA offers me the opportunity to engage with families, students and colleagues from a diverse culture. I enjoy being part of this wonderful campus and making our summer programs an enjoyable experience for both current and new families. I believe summer programs allow students the opportunity to build confidence and explore new skills in an enjoyable environment.
- Joanne Ziebell
Master of Science in Education, Nazareth College
Bachelor of Arts, State University of New York at Cortland
My teaching philosophy stems from a quote by Madeline Hunter: "Expecting all children the same age to learn from the same materials is like expecting all children the same age to wear the same size clothing."
- Jessica Brown
As an educator, it is essential to understand that students have different learning styles and be able to accommodate those. I must be ready and willing to adapt lessons to ensure students are confident about learning and are achieving their personal best in the classroom, while providing students with engaging activities and promoting personal accountability.
Bonita Goist (Deering)
Master of Science (in progress), Purdue University
Since I came to Elgin Academy as a parent, I saw that Elgin Academy is a place for students to learn who they really are. They are encouraged to be risk takers, to take chances and to go outside of their comfort zone.As a result, graduates of EA are prepared to take on the world and do amazing things
- Bonita Deering
There is definitely a dedication to helping each student reach his/her highest potential. When the opportunity arose to join the Marketing and Admissions staff, I was thrilled to be able to play a more active role in helping to bring more students to campus and let others in the community know about Elgin Academy.Elgin Academy is a unique community of students, teachers, staff and family who come together to create an atmosphere of learning, caring and creativity and I love that it’s my job to tell everyone about it.
Bachelor of Science, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Students must feel comfortable before they can learn. I expect my classroom to be an environment where students are allowed to take risks. I look for situations when I can look at a problem for the first time with students and model for them how to try and potentially fail in finding the right solution, only to rebound and try new ideas
- Doug Sept
I do not simply teach mathematics; I teach students. I teach students to become critical thinkers, to accept and overcome frustration, and to feel confident in proposing solutions. I teach students about the importance of honest self-assessment, how to celebrate accomplishments, and when to humbly admit that they are having difficulties. I teach students to take the time to listen and value other ideas, to respectfully disagree, and how to act when someone else disagrees with them. I teach students to use their resources and to master appropriate technology as well as to discern when to forego technology because they have the internal tools to solve a problem. In order to accomplish all of this, I use mathematics as the primary vehicle.
Students must feel comfortable before they can learn. I expect my classroom to be an environment where students are allowed to take risks. I look for situations when I can look at a problem for the first time with students and model for them how to try and potentially fail in finding the right solution, only to rebound and try new ideas. I applaud students who find my mistakes, be they intentional or accidents, because having them critique my work builds in them the ability to scrutinize their own.
I believe that homework should be a safe place to make mistakes. After learning about a new concept, the initial homework assignment involves students checking their own answers. I let the students know that immediate mastery is not the goal, but that attempting every problem is what is important. During every class period, there is a time for students to ask questions as a whole or as individuals. When I informally assess that a certain level of mastery has been reached by the majority of students, I formally assess them through a quiz. If a few individuals struggle, I work with them one-on-one to increase their understanding and confidence. If the majority of the class struggles, I discern what I could have done differently and implement an alternate approach to teaching the material.
Building genuine relationships with students is paramount to successful teaching. Although the focus of our initial relationship is through mathematics, I need to show that I care about them as a person outside of their mathematical performance. I greet students by name as they arrive in class and wish them a good day as they leave. I also acquaint myself of their involvement in activities both in and out of school. This allows a common ground for discussions beyond mathematics – talking about a recent athletic event, an impressive piece of artwork or creative performance, or simply asking what they did that weekend and listening to and caring about their answer builds a personal bridge through which great learning can happen.
Overall, I expect my students to leave my class having mastered the material and prepared themselves for future mathematics courses, but I also expect them to leave my class having learned how to be better, more confident learners in all areas.
It’s not about how big or small are mistakes are, but how we correct them that define us. Life is full of choices that can lend itself to teaching opportunities. As a teacher I feel part of my job is to help students become equipped with the right tools, knowledge, and characteristics to grow both personally and academically in any situation. Elgin Academy naturally offers me the opportunity to teach in this way, which is inspiring.
- Trisha Shrum
Erin Van Horne
Master of Education, DePaul University
The classroom opens up the world to students. It allows them to experience culture, love and loss in an environment free of judgement. My classroom embraces personal expression that allows the personalities and passions of every student to flourish.
- Erin Van Horne