A Cup of Coffee With Sarah Hinds…

We are starting an annual series called “A Cup of Coffee With...” In this blog post, I will be introducing and briefly interviewing our newest staff members.  We have three new teachers joining HTS this year: Sarah Hinds will be teaching fourth grade; Jessica Lydeka will be teaching second grade and Kevin McPeek is our new Phys. Ed. teacher.  In this issue we meet Ms. Hinds.

Why did you select education/teaching as a career?

I have always had a love for teaching, learning, and children. Throughout my own education, I admired and was influenced by many of my former teachers, quite a few of them here at Harding.  I’m honored and excited to be teaching in the former classroom of one of those teachers, my second grade teacher Mrs. Brown.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

My favorite subject throughout my schooling was math. I have been teaching math for many years now at the intermediate grade levels and I’m excited to continue to make children excited about learning math.  

What is your educational philosophy?

My educational philosophy is that all children have the ability to learn and it is my role as a teacher to create a safe learning environment that promotes self-confidence and individuality, while meeting the unique and individual needs of my students. I also believe that academic success begins and finishes with the development of individual relationships.

Finish this sentence. When my students come to my class on the first day of school…

they will feel welcomed and know they are in a safe and friendly classroom. They’ll know I’m so excited to get to know them and be their teacher this year!

Can you share one special talent or interest that you may have?

As a child I was a competitive gymnast and I still have a strong passion for the sport of gymnastics.   When I was no longer competing, I coached gymnastics to children of all ages during my high school and college years.

Bonus question: What is your favorite book for students in fourth grade?

Although it is not a 4th grade level book, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is by far my favorite picture book to read to children of any age. It teaches them the value of sharing, generosity, and caring for people because of who they are.

Sincerely,
Alex Anemone
 

A Cup of Coffee With Jessica Lydeka…

We are starting an annual series called “A Cup of Coffee With...” In this blog post, I will be introducing and briefly interviewing our newest staff members.  We have three new teachers joining HTS this year: Sarah Hinds will be teaching fourth grade; Jessica Lydeka will be teaching second grade and Kevin McPeek is our new Phys. Ed. teacher.  In this issue we meet Mrs. Lydeka.

Why did you select teaching as your career?

I always enjoyed and admired the many wonderful teachers I had throughout my own schooling who made learning meaningful, and I knew that I wanted to do the same for others. I find it very rewarding to help students become excited about learning and watch them progress throughout the school year.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

My favorite subject was language arts, with a particular interest in literature.  I loved reading and discussing all of the classics and still can’t put down a good book (or Kindle).

What is your educational philosophy?

I believe that students need to be active participants in the learning process and that it is a teacher’s role to motivate students and facilitate their learning while being compassionate and enthusiastic.  

Each child has their own strengths, needs, and ways of learning and should feel that their teacher cares about them.  I believe it’s essential to develop that trust and connection with each child to help them achieve success.   

Finish this sentence. “When my students come to my class on the first day of school…”

I want them to immediately feel that they are in a comfortable learning environment and see that I am very excited to get to know them.  I love to share my personal interests and short stories with students and encourage them to do the same in order to establish a sense of trust.  

Can you share one special talent or interest that you may have?

I played collegiate basketball and was a point guard and three point shooter.  I still love to be challenged in a game of HORSE. 

Bonus question: What is your favorite book for students in second grade?

I absolutely love reading The Tale of Despereaux written by Kate DiCamillo to my students.   It has all of the elements of a perfect fairy tale and can make you laugh, cry and want a bowl of soup. 

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone

A Cup of Coffee with Kevin McPeek…

We are starting an annual series called “A Cup of Coffee With...” In this blog post, I will be introducing and briefly interviewing our newest staff members.  We have three new teachers joining HTS this year: Sarah Hinds will be teaching fourth grade; Jessica Lydeka will be teaching second grade and Kevin McPeek is our new Phys. Ed. teacher.  In this issue we meet Mr. McPeek.

Why did you select teaching as a career?

I chose teaching because I wanted to help make a difference in young peoples’ lives. I was influenced and guided by many of my former teachers and wanted to do the same.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

My favorite subjects in school were Physical Education and History. I was very active playing many sports: soccer, football, basketball and baseball and loved to compete. I also enjoyed History as I found it very interesting learning about the past and comparing it to the present and future.

What is your educational philosophy?

My philosophy when teaching physical education is simple. If students are having fun while being active in my class, they are more likely to have fun being active in their outside daily lives.  I strive to put all students in situations where they have the best chance to succeed while learning and overcoming challenges

Finish this sentence. “When my students come to my class on the first day of school…”

they will find a fun yet structured environment where they will be able to be themselves while being active.

Can you share one special talent or interest that you may have?

I played College Baseball and I am a diehard New York Mets fan.

Bonus question: What is your favorite book?

Money Ball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.

Sincerely,

Alex Anemone