From the moment students step foot on campus, Gryphons are immersed in an education that is meant to provoke thought and build creativity. For this month’s Faculty Friday, we sat down with Junior Kindergarten teacher Liz Gano to learn how she’s building the next generation of thought leaders from a tender age.
A graduate of the University of Delaware, Ms. Gano spent much of her teenage years working with children. This led her to pursue a degree in early childhood education. She names this cutting-edge program as a key inspiration for her hands-on approach to teaching.
"Young minds absorb so much – much more than we give them credit for. Giving them opportunities to be creative, have fun, and challenge their minds is my gift to them – an investment in their future,” Ms. Gano said. “Being able to teach at a school that not only supports immersive education, but encourages it, helps me give my students the best education I’m capable of.”
One way that Ms. Gano invests in her students' futures is through creative, interdisciplinary projects that challenge students to build different skills. Their recent project on penguins allowed students to combine STEM, literacy, public speaking, research, art, music and movement. The class researched Antarctica and penguins, created a prototype, and then worked together to paint a mural using their research. Students recorded a short presentation about their penguin and linked it to a QR code that was attached to each penguin for audience viewing.
“Each of my projects combine all of these," Ms. Gano explained. "I want to build a love of learning, but I actually want to build a love of math. Every project has mathematics in mind. When you build a child’s math skills you are also building their literacy skills."
Ms. Gano’s students work on many different projects throughout the year.
“For me, projects are a way to focus on educational standards while my students become curious about making connections with the real world. I want to build a love of learning and an understanding that school can be challenging and fun at the same time! I encourage perseverance and a constant pursuit of excellence! I want my students to be lifelong learners.”
We’re grateful for passionate educators like Ms. Gano! We’re looking forward to following along with her classroom throughout the year. Check out pictures of their Antarctica mural!
IN THIS SECTION