The faculty at Ancillae-Assumpta Academy live out the Handmaid motto, Educating With Love and For Love, each and every day they disappear behind the stone wall on Church Road. Although there are so many ways this practice can be actualized, here we share how a few of our faculty members personally embrace their ministry of an Ancillae education.
I want every child in my classroom to leave with a sense of accomplishment. No matter where a student is in their musical education, I differentiate so that every student can have a positive experience. Having students try new things is important in encouraging growth, not only in the music classroom, but through their lives. Students are learning that trying new things may be scary at first because you may not always be successful the first time, but if you are patient, diligent, and willing to try, you will have a successful and positive experience. Moving from not being able to keep a steady beat to improvising on the recorder with accompaniment is really incredible. Knowing that a student trusted you enough to take risks is really a great feeling that can’t be experienced anywhere else.
Jacy Ring (Grades 1-4 Music)
It is most important to me that students learn kindness. Our environment reinforces this idea in numerous ways. Learning to be kind to the earth and all of the creatures is the global view. Being kind to others is the view to look outside yourself and see who needs help. Being kind to yourself helps young students to understand the good feelings you can share. Our yoga, meditation, and mindfulness curriculums increase student awareness of the kind footprint they can leave with each step they take. I am passionate about sharing these tools with students, and I love seeing the ripples of consciousness spreading to the next generation.
Marianna Farrell (Kindergarten)
Since I was young, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I believe teaching is a powerful profession and one in that patience is key. I always try to exude a calming presence every day towards my students, their parents, the faculty, and the school community. Patience takes many forms including being flexible and having the ability to be collaborative. Patience also means having the ability to make appropriate accommodations for students when necessary. Each student learns differently and at their own pace. As a teacher, it is crucial to use differentiated instruction to make certain the wide array of learners absorb and comprehend lessons. It is also my responsibility to recognize what went well and what can be improved upon if a lesson was not successfully received by the students. Reflection truly motivates me because through self-evaluation, I can develop better ideas and more effective approaches for my next lesson.
Priscilla Donnalley (Grade 3, Resource Learning)
I love being able to find that perfect book for a child. Many times students will come up to me and ask me for “the book with the blue cover” or “the book with the talking doughnut” and I love being able to locate that specific book and seeing their eyes light up when I do. I also love it when a student checks out a book somewhat reluctantly that I have recommended to them, and they come back and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I try to instill a love of reading in all the students and that type of moment just validates the love I have for my work.
Karen Sabatino (Library)
I want my students to learn that qualities of independence, creativity, empathy, self-expression, and determination will contribute to who they grow to be: adults who can contribute, and not detract from, their communities; adults who enable others to give their best, and who are genuine in all their endeavors. My hope is that empathy, consistency, and setting strong goals can all work together to help the child awaken his inner guide, and to develop an internal self-motivation that propels the child forward.
Bevin Bodnar (Kindergarten)
My parents taught me the importance of working hard. Working hard is not just something you do from 9 to 5. It requires that you invest in what you love, and it typically has an outcome that makes a difference. If you are in such an endeavor, you will do your best work, and you will be personally and professionally fulfilled. I want my students to understand that their success - education or otherwise - is largely dependent on what they do. Just as an athlete repeats earlier drills, learns new skills, rehearses those skills in different settings, and asks for/follows coaches’ advice, so must my students.
Terry McAuliffe (Jr High Math and Religion)
For me, seeing a student is like what an artist must see when he sees an empty canvas…endless possibilities! There are so many directions that you may go when a child comes to you with questions and so many teachable moments. Teaching is a profession that requires patience, passion, dedication, empathy, and the ability to be flexible with your thoughts, goals, and intentions. “It’s okay to make a mistake, but it is not okay to stop there. It is most important to correct that mistake and move past it” is the most important lesson I believe every child should take away from their time spent with me. I love being able to have a positive influence on the minds of young children and to open their eyes to so many different areas of knowledge and the creativity of learning.
Shanel Easter (Preschool, Extended Day)
Everyone has had the experience of getting so involved in something that time seems to fly. That is what I love about teaching; the time I spend with students seems to race by because we are so caught up in the learning process. Classes filled with questions and activities, students deeply involved in problem solving or hands-on experiences, the moments of such great clarity when every student in the class seems to “get it,” and then “Oh my gosh! Class is over already?” I hope that students will become intrinsically motivated to be lifelong learners. I wish for my students to figure out how to learn something, determine what engages them personally, and find the path that leads to education as a passion (rather than an obligation). I love when students are immersed in learning, bursting with questions, and enthusiastically problem solving. These moments give me such wonderful fulfillment as an educator.
Lizanne Hendershott (Jr High Math and Science)
Our faculty is committed to the craft of teaching and deeply desires to share all that they are and have with their students. At every stage of growth and in every facet of learning, our teachers are motivated to come from a place of love as they guide and inspire the students before them and to send students forth keeping love in mind as they create their futures. This is a hallmark of an Ancillae education, and we are grateful to our faculty and staff for the dedication and passion they demonstrate so beautifully toward this endeavor.