Margaret Garfinkel #ASpotlight Interview

Read the seventh addition to our #ASpotlight Interview Series on Kindergarten Teacher Margaret Garfinkel!
What do you find most rewarding about working with kindergarteners, who are new to elementary school and the A-S community?
I love being a part of the amazing journey for our boys and their families as they experience the milestone rite of passage of becoming an A-S kindergarten family! As a teacher, I draw upon the natural joy, wonder, and excitement of our youngest learners to ease them through the adjustment process. I build upon this innate excitement throughout the year and feel blessed to have such a rewarding career!
 
Are there any unique or special traditions that you have brought into your classroom?
I am passionate about creative methods of teaching and cherish having the opportunity to create the Spanish play, “Los Sevillanos.” This lively production was inspired by the addition of Spanish to our Kindergarten curriculum several years ago. Spanish Teacher, Jesús Parra, who is from Sevilla, Spain, was equally thrilled to bring his authentic perspective to this effort. We taught the boys so much about Spanish culture – including art, history and music.

How do you feel collaborations between departments, as was the case for “Los Sevillanos,” are beneficial to your students’ learning?
Collaboration with colleagues builds connections, bonds our departments, and provides us with the valuable opportunity to model the benefits of working together. Teamwork is fundamental to classroom success!
 
With the end of the academic calendar, what are you most looking forward to during the 2019-2020 school year?
I am eagerly anticipating meeting the newest boys and their families in the fall! I feel fortunate to work in a career that offers a profound sense of professional renewal inspired by the enthusiasm and curiosity of the newest class!
 
At Allen-Stevenson we often say, “there are many ways to be a boy.” What does this mean to you?
I believe in celebrating each boy for his individuality. In kindergarten, we spend a great deal of time building a community of respectfulness to ensure that every student perceives he is a valued member of the class. Once a boy feels respected and valued, he will steadily blossom in the on-going expression of his boyhood!
 
Describe the Allen-Stevenson community in 3 words:
Joyful, inclusive, evolving!
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.