Nursery Teacher Marisa Campbell: One of Philly’s Best
Marisa Campbell, one of Miquon’s newer young teachers, has been selected as one of nine finalists from 90 nominations for the Philadelphia Family Educator Award.
Reason you went into education: Many experiences, including working with children as a Girl Scout camp counselor, majoring in children’s literature and identity development as an undergraduate, and exploring literacy learning, led me to want to become a teacher and propelled me to pursue graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, where I earned at Master’s Degree Reading, Writing, and Literacy. I was passionate about the possibilities of literacy development and the power of inquiry-based approaches, and I was eager to engage with children around story, reading, writing, and identity. After two years working with first grade students, I began teaching nursery school, and fell in love with the delight and creativity of the children, and the dynamism of teaching through an emergent curriculum.
Favorite way to engage with your students: There is nothing I love more than reading stories aloud with my students. There are so many rich conversations around the text, questions to explore together, ideas that arise from the illustrations, and a rich discourse of wondering and possibility. As the year goes on, it is thrilling to hear them wondering about the author and illustrator, asking questions and responding to each other, and, perhaps my most favorite, revisiting the stories through dramatic play and writing their own.
Biggest impact your students have made on you: I have learned a lot of things from my students: how to listen closely and make sure I understand what they want me to know, how to slow down and really look at something, the importance of stopping what we’re doing to laugh really, really hard, the power of puppet shows, and the importance of going outside in the rain. The most important thing they have taught me is how to let go of my own plans, and follow their lead, to act as a co-conspirator in the process of learning, creating space and offering materials and experiences that will support their growth and understanding.