Taylor is a key member of the elementary program team! She shares her experiences with younger students and why she loves working with them.
What makes the BB Elementary program different than other schools?
It’s hard to measure our program against other schools because we have such a unique environment. In our smaller and more intimate classes each student receives the attention they need. The students’ interests help guide the content, so we work together as a team to build learning with the student. We provide the one-on-one opportunities that a lot of schools just don’t have the resources for.
I also like to think that we don’t just teach academics, but we teach a lot of the social skills that kids need. Not only in our classes, but in our general community. Ultimately, we have a unique population with unique needs, and I think with our elementary program, we have all the right tools to help elementary kids love learning.
How did you start working with younger students?
I started working with younger students at a literacy program called the Writers’ Exchange. At first, I only wanted to work with the older kids, thinking that I would have more in common with them. As I worked on literacy with kids from grades 1-7, I saw that one thing they all had in common was that they were a lot of fun to be around. I was reminded of childhood curiosity, how you read and figure out the world around you, and definitely how to rank the Marvel superheroes against the DC ones. The younger students helped me realize that my inner kid was actually a great resource for teaching and surprisingly, I had a lot in common with kids under the age of 10. For instance, I have done multiplication hopscotch outside in the courtyard, scooter spelling, video game reviews, and even zombie apocalypse guides.
Math, English, Reading, Science – you do it all! Do you have a favourite thing to teach elementary students?
I love teaching everything, to be honest, but my main thing is teaching the power of words. I love teaching students how much sway words have and how flexible and versatile they can be. Words can be powerful and persuasive, they can be kind and soothing, they can be funny, helpful, and informative. Some of the kids we work with, they are very resistant to writing and reading because they’re intimidated by the power of words. I mean who wouldn’t be put off by a giant block of letters? If I can teach them that words are their friend, my mission is complete.
Who inspires you?
Everyone and everything. And as cheesy as it sounds, I’m inspired by my co-workers and fellow teachers. We share a lot of our successes and failures with each other and are always swapping techniques, so it’s hard not to find inspiration in them. My students inspire me too. I wouldn’t come up with half the ideas I use if it weren’t for them. They’re as much teaching me as I’m teaching them!