Teacher Feature: Ms. Holt

 

Annie Holt

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Undergrad & Major: University of Maryland, American Studies, with a minor in Spanish Language & Culture
Your favorite spot in DC: I love the National Portrait Gallery & American Art Museum

 

 

 

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

I have always really loved working with kids of all different ages. They have so much joy and curiosity that can be hard to find in fellow adults. It’s fun to explore the (seemingly) random things they’re interested in. The possibilities are endless and I love that, and I love being able to facilitate that exploration.

Is there a teacher who made a difference in your life?

I had a English teacher in elementary school, Mrs. Wilson. She was so loving and caring and she made such a sincere effort to get to know every student and their families. She passed away very young and she taught during her illness. It was inspiring, and really demonstrated how much she cared about her students. I would like to think she’d be very happy to know I’m teaching now.

Why did you choose the Inspired Teaching Residency?

In what I had read and had heard from previous Fellows, Inspired Teaching wants its teachers to facilitate exploration – the very thing I find most exciting about teaching. I also like the “Yes, And” approach to all student interests. These concepts are things that I’d felt, but hadn’t been able to put my finger on what it was. Inspired Teaching put a name and structure to the things I already believed.

Are there any takeaways from Summer Institute that have already impacted the way you think about teaching & learning?

Absolutely! One thing that comes to mind immediately is modeling. At Institute, there was a lot of modeling and I learned how important it is to see how things are done so students can then try it for themselves. I also really strive to point out when students are doing something right, instead of pointing out when someone is doing something wrong. This is a way that students can model for each other.

I appreciated learning about establishing communal norms, that are decided upon by the class, as opposed to imposed by the teacher. It’s been very eye-opening and we did it in our classroom at Capital City PCS. The kids responded well to the fact that it was a community decision to determine what’s expected of them and how they can respect each other.

How has the cohort model affected your experience so far?

Although I don’t get to see people from my cohort everyday, like during Summer Institute, it’s been really nice to see each other in the hallways. I like knowing there are other Residents in the building, learning as much as I am every day. I love having people I can learn from and people I can swap funny stories with. It’s powerful that they understand what I’m going through, because they are sharing the same learning experience.

What has surprised you most about your first few weeks as a Resident at Capital City PCS?

Something that has really surprised me is the way in which the lower, middle and upper schools all interact. We are a large school that has students in PreK through 12th grade. It’s a huge range of ages and students, but we really are all part of one school. It’s interesting to see how the older students and younger students have a rapport with each other.

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