Whitney Bullock, Kindergarten Teacher, Stony Point Elementary School

What has your classroom experience taught you that studying education could not have prepared you for?
My first year experience taught me the importance of fostering a learning community. Creating a warm physical and emotional environment made the students feel comfortable in their learning space. As a result, my students became passionate learners who felt comfortable taking academic risks.

What teaching adjustments do you plan to make moving forward?
This upcoming school year, I will focus on classroom learning spaces that foster independence. I have invested in designated learning spaces (e.g. math corner, reading jungle, etc.) that have accessible manipulatives. In doing so, the students can take ownership of their space and develop as independent learners.

In your eyes, what is the biggest challenge facing education currently?
It seems multiculturalism has been addressed more frequently. However, it seems we need more emphasis on making multiculturalism a more mainstream concept. Providing strong communication and engagement will better support multicultural families.

For the next few weeks, to gain insight on what important lessons our young teachers learn early in their careers, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator profiles will feature first- and second-year teachers.