KINDERGARTEN-LEAD TEACHER: MEREDITH SANTORA
I can hardly believe that I have been working in the field of education for over a decade. I received my BA from Skidmore College where I studied both Psychology and Early Childhood Education. I then went on to coordinate a 21st Century Learning and Education grant in Montpelier, VT where I developed and lead educational programs. My mission during this program was to open the school as a community space for families while promoting positive decision making for the students.
The program’s success was notable, and as a result I was allocated additional funds to develop and lead a summer enrichment camp. A local farm served as the camp site for children that received free and reduced priced lunches during the school year. This program provided lunches for students during the summer months and also helped to connect families with their food source. We worked together harvesting food from the field and cooking our lunches in the outdoor kitchen. This experience taught me that we all learn best when personal experience becomes our teacher.
Experiential learning is at the core of the progressive education movement. I moved from Vermont to New York City to study at Bank Street College of Education where I earned a dual masters degree in Teaching Literacy and General Education. At this time, I received additional training from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. While living in New York City, I taught in both private and public elementary school settings. I also began a private literacy practice working with both accelerated and struggling learners.
I met my soon to be husband in 2008 and tried for a year and half to make him move to New York City! I moved to Washington D.C. after accepting a position to teach Second Grade at Brent in 2009. I was immediately attracted to Brent because of its active parent involvement, strong commitment to exploratory learning, and amazing staff. Since becoming part of the Brent team, I appreciate the support given when implementing large-scale curriculum projects that integrate both inside and outside classroom learning. This year, we will use Eastern Market as the focus of our first expeditionary learning project. I am excited for our year together in Kindergarten!