Can you talk a little bit about your journey to your current position?
I first started teaching in 2007, after graduating from the University of Maryland. I taught at a small private school for about three years, where I learned from some amazing teachers. That’s where I built my teaching foundation. After that, I moved to a Level 5 school for about six years. All of my students were labelled as emotionally dysfunctional. It was there where I realized that every child can learn. I was introduced to Friendship in 2016 and came on board as a 4th grade ELA teacher. This was also the first year we adopted our Wit & Wisdom curriculum, and I really liked it. I looped [continued to the next grade level] with my scholars to 5th grade, the grade I am currently teaching.
I had the opportunity to loop with my students when I was at the Level 5 school and I witnessed firsthand how beneficial it was. Teaching requires relationship building; it’s fundamental. You need a relationship in order for a child to trust you. When you loop with your scholars, they know what to expect on day 1. They know that Ms. Wynn is going to come in and require this, this, and this. They’re well prepared to meet expectations.
Is there anything that I haven’t asked you yet that you want to be sure to include in your spotlight?
I would say every child can learn. If we provide an opportunity for children to learn, they’re going to – regardless of socio-economic status, regardless of disability. Children want to learn and they want to be in a structured environment. We have to make sure that we show up every day with that in mind.
Can you talk more about creating a structured environment?
As an ELA teacher, I have rotation charts where the students are assigned to be each day. They start with a “do now” activity, which takes about 5-7 minutes. They then rotate around the classroom and sit in a small group with me. They do a learning center with Words Their Way. The rotation doesn’t change. They know what they’re doing in those centers, and they know which day of the week they’re doing it. If I give them a writing assignment, they already know the first step they have to do. I make sure to teach them the system so that they can do it whether I’m here or not. I want to teach them how to be proactive learners.
Is there a fun fact that your colleagues don’t know about you that you’d like to share?
I love to travel. If I could do it for the rest of my life, I would-exploring, learning about different cultures and meeting interesting people… it’s just what I love!
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