Lead Teacher | Ravens
Susan joined Middle Way in 2022-2023 to serve as the Lead Teacher for the 7- and 8-year-olds of the Ravens. An educator for 30 years, Susan has a varied and impressive teaching career that most recently saw her at The Shefa School in NYC. We are over the moon to have such an experienced, enthusiastic teacher and Buddhist practitioner join our ranks. Welcome Susan!
I am excited to be the new lead teacher for the Ravens class! This year will be my 30th year of teaching. I have been fortunate to teach in a variety of settings-public schools, an international school in Brazil, an all girls school in New Orleans, and in an independent school in NYC. Although I did enjoy my experience in the city, I found myself yearning for a deeper connection to nature and to be part of an education community that sees the natural world and social justice as a part of a progressive education. When I found Middle Way School, I knew I had found what I was looking for.
Traditionally, teachers provide children with learning opportunities. However, over the years I have realized it is really the students who are teaching the adults. Children forgive our mistakes, open our eyes to new ways of seeing, gather their friends in a warm embrace and exhibit fearless curiosity. Plus, they are some of the most entertaining humans I know! I truly enjoy being with my students, learning about what interests them, helping them build a sense of agency and watching them grow emotionally as well as academically.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati in Early Childhood Education and Master’s Degree from Miami University (Oxford) in Primary Literacy. I am especially interested in how young children develop mathematical conceptual understanding and have been a long time member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I enjoy working with English as a New Language students and have found that many of the strategies used with these students can benefit all learners. I am also interested in the way literature, especially picture books, can open a child’s eyes to other ways of looking at the world and bridge divides that may arise in the classroom and in the world at large. I appreciate the value in deep listening, and find that when one listens with empathy and a genuine curiosity to learn what the student’s viewpoint might be, both teacher and student are enriched and nourished spiritually and intellectually.
One personal note, I have a daughter who teaches Special Education/Bilingual in the Bronx and education is always a part of our conversations. I like reading mysteries, gardening, being in the woods, dancing and road trips. I also have a deep appreciation for the dharma, and currently practice and learn with the Buddhist Dharma Center of Cincinnati. I am so grateful to have found my way to the Middle Way School!