Michaela is joining us for the summer as a substitute teacher. She is currently a student at Oklahoma State University, studying Elementary Education. Michaela has volunteered in early childhood programs in the past and has demonstrated that she is a very flexible and energetic teacher.
We’re happy to have her here!
Hello! My name is Miranda Laughlin. I am the Strands Teacher here at The Grove School. I am a recent resident of the Dallas area having moved from Colorado in September of 2010. I graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies along with an Early Childhood Education Teaching License. During my time in Fort Collins, I had teaching positions with second grade, kindergarten, preschool and special needs early childhood education classrooms.
In August of 2010, my husband Derek and I were married and moved to Dallas, where he is working as an engineer and attending seminary to be a Biblical counselor. I most recently worked as the lead teacher of a toddler classroom before coming to be a part of The Grove School team!
My philosophy of education focuses on serving children in building their path to learning how to think rather than what to think. Children should be the author of their own education story, and I as an educator get to create environments and situations where they may observe, explore, create and form ideas about the world. It is a joy to be a part of children formulating questions, hypotheses and intelligent thoughts as the foundation for the remainder of their educational journey. I see myself as a life long learner and enjoy being taught from my students as much as they enjoy learning from their teachers. My motto: “I’m not a square, I’m a circle and I can roll with it!
We are very happy to announce a new teacher at The Grove School of Cary. Her name is Ms. Stephanie. She is from Germany and has lived in NC for the last 13 years. She has over 20 years of experience teaching children in both Germany and the United States.
She will be busy at The Grove School! She is teaching our Mommy and Me! program, teaching German, cooking and coordinating our outdoor grove projects.
We are fortunate to have her with us! Please take a moment to stop in and say hello and to welcome her to our school. Also take a moment to watch her bilingual video.
We are thrilled to have Ms. Deedra as part of The Grove School of Cary team. Ms. Deedra has worked with students from 12 months up to 10 years old. She has served as a lead teacher for the past for years. She has a Bachelor’s in Psychology.
Ms. Deedra will be working with Ms. Katie in our Early Preschool classroom.
Enjoy her video below.
Please join us in welcoming her to our Grove family.
In any organization, company, team, group, etc., the difference between being just good and being GREAT always boils down to people. In support of this, a CEO of a major company once said when asked to name the top five factors that led to his company’s success, replied with the following (as told in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great):
- “One would be people.
- Two would be people.
- Three would be people.
- Four would be people.
- And five would be people.”
As you know, our school is growing. As a result, we are going through the process of looking for the best and the brightest teachers to grow with us.
And it is not an easy task!
Because our standards and expectations are so high and our program is so unique, it takes a very talented and unique teacher for our students and our school. In the past month, we have received hundreds of resumes to review from all over the country. We are honored to have so much interest from folks wanting to be a part of our school. While that is a blessing, it is also a curse. It does take a lot of our time, both Sarah (our Education Manager) and I, to review the incoming resumes and decide who should go forward in the selection process.
I would estimate that about 20% of the applicants move forward to the next phase which is a screening interview. While I was doing my doctoral research at the University of Georgia, one of the professors I worked with published a study on hiring the right people. Unfortunately, he found that even the best predictor of whether an employee would be a good fit for your organization was only correct about 21% of the time. Starting with 100 applicants and by merging those two numbers, the 20% of applicants that move forward and the best predictor of a good fit being about 21%, that brings us to about 4 applicants out of 100 that are likely to be a good fit.
We cannot and will not settle for mediocre or average. We must have exceptional talent. For that reason, we have adopted the approach that Collins outlines in his book: “When in doubt, don’t hire and keep looking.” As we rapidly grow and the pressure to hire staff to meet the demands of our incoming families increases, this approach can be quite scary!
The corollary to that is that we may need to limit our growth based upon our ability to find enough of the right people. In a business sense, this corollary is equally scary. No business would ever want to turn away customers, especially in today’s economy. Naturally, we want every customer possible.
I am thrilled to report that our efforts and patience are paying off. We have a lot of talent in our pipeline and are getting ready to bring on board a few more wonderfully talented teachers. We anticipate our hiring to continue through the fall with our commensurate growth.
The pressure will continue to be on our leadership team to continually attract, hire and retain the right people. After all, people make all the difference…the right people that is!
All of us here at The Grove School are thrilled to have Ms. Tanja with us. Ms. Tanja started this week and will be working with all of the students in our school as our strand teacher. Classes will come into the multipurpose room for lessons in art, music, dance, theatrical play, etc. that have been especially designed for them by her. She will also be here in the mornings to work in the wrap around program.
Tanja is from Germany and received her degree in Early Childhood Education there. She studied holistic movement, dance, relaxation and fitness there as well. She has worked as a preschool teacher, a dance teacher, a movement teacher, a multi arts teacher as well as a nanny.
We are fortunate to have her with us. We hope that you will stop by and introduce yourself to her. I know she would love to meet you!
Watch her video below.
Katie was born and raised in a small fishing village known as Homer, Alaska. Her childhood spent running in the woods, swimming in rivers and hiking mountains inspired her to study education and learn skills for providing all children with positive childhood experiences.
Katie received her degree in Early Childhood Education and focused on studying educational philosophies including Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia. She holds teacher certification in many states including North Carolina. She has a wide range of experience with children 3 months to 8 years old in varies settings including public schools, private schools, preschools, elementary schools and in-home childcare.
In addition to education, Katie is passionate about ballet and was a dancer for 14 years. She loves to travel and has lived in Spain, Bermuda, Bahamas and Austria. She enjoys spending her free time reading and swooning over her black tabby cat Mukluk.
We are thrilled to have her with us!
Please take a moment to stop by, say hello and introduce yourself to help her feel welcome in our family.
We are a little family in our preschool classroom. A community of three, four and five year old boys and girls, learning through socialization how to be a friend, appreciate each other’s differences and similarities and respect the people and the world around us.
A child’s sense of self comes from the support of the adults in his or her life.
As a teacher, I know I play an important role in helping children deal with every day feelings in their world. I know that each child is an individual. I speak to each child with respect and interest, always addressing them by name and asking them to do the same for me. I happily greet each child as they walk into the room each day and follow up with friendly conversation with their parents too. While these gestures come naturally, I know too that I am modeling for the children the basics of socialization and communication each and every day.
I support the children in their efforts to communicate, helping with words and accepting their feelings as they develop the ability to grow and make sense of the world. The use of positive language, so crucial when speaking to children, builds a trusting relationship with each child.
In the preschool classroom, children learn to develop social skills to help them work and play, take the initiative and cooperate with those around them. Sharing, taking turns, respect for others and friendship is modeled by the adults in our school.
There are very simple and direct rules to follow in my preschool classroom…be kind, be safe and be the best friend you can be.
I assist the children in verbalizing their needs in a socially acceptable way. I encourage the children to be kind, caring and show empathy to all and thus find a room full of multi-tasking, problem solving children with a real sense of pride and accomplishment in who they are and what they can do.
For me, it is truly rewarding to see the mastering of skills in each and every child as they blossom and grow into bright and independent thinkers at The Grove School and beyond.
Since mid-October, I have been writing, blogging and making videos about the progress that has been taking place with the facility, furniture and equipment for The Grove School of Cary. It has been thrilling to watch this facility transform from a bare shell of a building into a state-of–the art and environmentally friendly learning environment. Some of you have shared this journey with me.
Well, Monday, January 4th marks the most important arrival of all for The Grove School – our teachers. The best thing we do for our children in any school environment is to put a highly trained and child-centered teacher in the classroom with them each and every day. We have scoured applications from hundreds of teachers from around the country and have selected a wonderful cadre of highly trained professionals who not only embrace the early learning philosophy, but do so with a commitment to instill the ideals of “healthy body, healthy mind and healthy planet” throughout the school day.
The Grove School leadership, at all levels, recognizes and values the role that teachers play in the teaching and learning process. It is the teachers who, in concert with the parents, work the real magic. It is the teachers who will creatively guide, shape, inspire, motivate, stretch, challenge, correct, and praise our children as they begin this most important journey of learning.
I hold great anticipation of the many wonderful experiences the students of The Grove School will have in their expert hands.
Yes, the building is wonderful. Our furniture is beautiful and sustainable. Our technology is first class. However, more importantly, the same words describe the teachers of The Grove School. They are wonderful, beautiful and first class!
Check back soon as we will be posting videos, bios and photos of our staff. I invite you to stop by and meet all of us sometime real soon!