FIFTH GRADE

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Audrey (Herzig) Jackson

From East Montpelier, Vermont, with degrees from Williams College and the Boston Teacher Residency Program, Mrs. Jackson came to the Manning in 2009.

“I became a teacher in Boston Public Schools because I believe that every child deserves an excellent education and that public education is a means toward social justice.  During the summers of my college years I was a teaching assistant for the MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program in Cambridge, MA.  I was shocked to see how much students struggled with academic materials given how bright they were.  My time as TA showed me that many students are highly motivated, but their experiences haven’t empowered them to believe in themselves and that hard work can produce results.  It was then that I knew I wanted to be a teacher in an elementary school so that I could work with students at a young age and provide them with the academic and personal skills that would help them achieve their goals in the future.”

The fifth grade classroom curriculum, students develop reading and writing skills, with a particular focus on persuasion and taking others’ perspectives into account.  In math, students refine multiplication and division skills, while also deepening their knowledge of fractions and decimals.  Teamwork is emphasized, as well as supporting each other’s learning as a whole group.  Students also focus on being respectful, the importance of a good education, and how to be prepared for middle school.

“My favorite thing about teaching is helping a child realize that she is capable of something that she feared she would never be capable of.  I love when a child transforms from being uncertain or fearful into feeling so excited and confident that she can even teach others.”

Nicole Vanderheiden

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is.  But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Ms. Vanderheiden came to the Manning in 2008 with degrees from San Diego State University and Rhode Island College.  Of her teaching philosophy she says: “I enjoy helping kids to raise their expectations of themselves and reach their individual potential.  My favorite thing about teaching is seeing students become proud of themselves and what they’ve accomplished.”  The curriculum in her classroom includes various reading intervention programs (Project Read, WKRP, Primary Phonics, Lexus), as well as social studies programs (Children Discovering Justice, which includes a trip to the U.S. Moakley Courthouse in Boston;”Road to the Revolution,” a cartoon chronicle that engages students in the important role Boston plays in American history; and a field trip to Pail Revere’s house). “My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Rea.  She made me feel like I was special to her.  When I got into a minor accident, she organized the whole class to walk down to my house, singing and carrying balloons!  She had her heart in teaching.  My favorite thing about the Manning is that it’s a very close knit community where everyone knows everyone else and is willing to help create a positive and creative environment.”

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