Ms. Phillips is in her 7th year teaching kindergarten at The Hamlin School.
What do you love about teaching kindergarten?
So much, kindergarteners are so open, excited, and happy. I really enjoy teaching students to be good young people. We focus on social-emotional learning. How do you make a friend? How do you solve a conflict? How do you tell your friends what you need? Academically they are excited for everything, they don’t always get enough credit (because they are the youngest), but they are capable and ready to learn.
What do you love about teaching at Hamlin?
The girls are amazing. Every year you get this new group of bright and diverse students. I also love my co-workers. Hamlin is a supportive community. I’ve done many professional development workshops that have helped enrich my teaching practice. I love coming to work every day.
What is one of your favorite memories from elementary school?
I have great memories of reading and writing. I always loved reading books on a cushion underneath a table in the classroom; it was like my own little cocoon. I would read books like Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins.
Describe a favorite teaching moment.
I love when the girls take on the role of peer teacher, extending their learning and deepening their understanding. In these moments I often see the girls making connections between what they have learned and their own lives. When they begin teaching each other I know that I’ve done my job.
On Tuesday, Hamlin faculty members engaged in a daylong learning exploration with members of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning.
Among other areas, the Institute focuses on honing the following skills with educators:
- Conduct classes in ways that build capacity for personal reflection, meaningful conversation, ritual and group harmony.
- Use silence, creative expression, listening and cooperation to activate SEL in all subject areas.
- Use SEL principles to facilitate more powerful academic curriculum design.
- Exploit the link between literary themes, creative writing, storytelling and SEL skills.
- Facilitate use of clarification, support and proposed solutions in conversation to unlock the power of collective wondering.
- Work with values to build teacher resilience, humanity and creativity.
- Model the resilience, compassion and inspiration at the heart of SEL.
Hamlin faculty members participated in community building activities, defined and refined the purpose and goals of middle school advisory program, learned new ways to tangibly bring SEL into K-8 classrooms, and went through open session training (a specific type of conversation held in advisory to support the social/emotional welfare of students).
The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning will be working with Hamlin faculty members again in November and in the spring. Special thanks to Institute facilitators Janice Toben, Nick Haisman-Smith and Elizabeth McLeod.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.instituteforsel.net/