When I first went back to school for my teaching license I knew I wanted to teach at a small school with a strong sense of community. It took a while, but my path finally led me to The Mountain Community School. TMCS is a small school that has a very strong sense of community, and teaching here is my dream job! At TMCS I am also allowed the freedom to incorporate my teaching philosophies to their fullest. I have a “real world” approach to teaching that incorporates my love of the outdoors, literature, science, history, music, and art. Our curriculum is grounded in learning expeditions, which makes learning authentic and meaningful. You will RARELY find me using textbooks; I use materials, projects, and literature that are authentic. I also have a “less is more” approach to teaching and life in general. My classroom is organized and clutter free, which allows students to focus on the task at hand. I teach my students that the less clutter they have the more they will learn. Having this philosophy allows me to transform my classroom in a way that makes our learning expeditions the main focus. This affords students the opportunity to not be distracted and allows them to learn big concepts at a much deeper level. Ultimately, I want my students to learn to love reading and learning, to focus on quality rather than quantity, and learn what it means to operate as a community.
I’ve found a calm respectful classroom environment is essential to effective learning. To that end, I’ve developed a plan for classroom management, establish effective classroom routines, and to provide a strategy for motivating students. Part of this plan is to ask incoming students to exhibit good manners and to take responsibility by signing a “Success through Good Manners Contract”. You can download it HERE.
I follow the state required fourth grade curriculum. However, I integrate almost all subjects through expeditions.
Math is typically due every day. Unless otherwise stated, all other homework is due every Friday morning.
Fall into Theme
Students explore common themes across various literary works including myths, folk tales, local legends, plays, and novels. Along with this expedition we have storytellers in the classroom and field trips to plays or storytelling. At the end of this expedition students perform a play with a strong central theme, and write a narrative story that incorporates a theme.
Students are challenged by studying a local animal and then altering the animal to adapt to a completely different environment. What would it take for a North Carolina animal to survive in Greenland? What would you have to do to adapt? This expedition includes field work in Pisgah Forest and The Western Carolina Nature Center.
Students explore the world of rocks, fossils, and surface changes. How are rocks classified? How can fossils tell us about Earth’s past? What are fossil fuels? How does the Earth’s surface change over time? Students will have to dig deep for these answers! This expedition includes a field trip to the Hendersonville Lapidary Museum, various walks to conduct field work, and guest scientists in the classroom.