Teacher Interview with Karen Hamm
Karen Hamm is the Village School’s new third grade teacher. Previously, she taught in New York schools in a variety of capacities, including high school, middle school, and elementary classrooms, and also served in school administration. Ms. Hamm’s classroom is a community of learners, where each individual student is special and will be nurtured to achieve the very best that they can.
Q: What do you love most about teaching?
A: I love it when students “get” a concept I’ve taught—seeing that light bulb go on for them, and seeing them build on that new understanding is so rewarding. My life’s work is to help all children learn to the very best of their abilities, so that they can move onwards, grow up, and have successful lives. I love teaching all subjects, and find that as a generalist, I enjoy teaching in an interdisciplinary way. For example, we are now reading fiction and non-fiction in our language arts module, and both books focus on the subject of Japanese culture—weaving some social studies elements into our reading and writing.
Q: How do you like teaching third grade?
A: I love teaching third grade in particular, because the students are becoming more independent, but still are kids at heart and learning so many new concepts every day. I believe strongly in a growth mindset, and that there are many types of intelligence in addition to academics.
Q: Do you have a favorite Village School experience so far?
A: I quickly came to love our weekly fall trips to the Hiland Hall Gardens. Intertwining the teaching of agriculture and science in a hands-on way is so memorable and enjoyable for students.
Q: What are some of the elements that make the Village School distinctive from other schools?
A: The Village School is such a welcoming environment for students and staff. Students are encouraged to try new things, make mistakes and learn from them, express themselves artistically and musically, and all of this is done in a wonderful, caring school setting. It is clear that Village School families are supportive of their students and our school as well, which helps create a loving, positive climate and culture here. It truly is a special place where students are nurtured and encouraged, and treated with kindness and respect.
Children are at the heart of all we do. We nurture a child's curiosity, ignite enthusiasm for exploring, develop tools for inquiry, for invention, for achievement. We welcome families into a community-wide collaboration to help our children grow into their best selves - responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, makers of the future.