Today, we’re introducing you to Jocelyn Paez, fourth-grade teacher!
Jocelyn has been teaching for 10 years with seven of them at The Children’s School. She began working with children when she was in high school as a babysitter. Later in college, she was a full-time nanny and taught art classes at local preschools. When she joined TCS, she worked in the 3’s/4’s classroom. After three years of building mud pies, playing dress up and finger painting, she moved up to fourth grade with Randy.
What skills do you hope your students will learn by the time they leave your classroom?
When students leave my classroom I hope I have impressed upon them a love for learning, the courage to take risks, and the ability to recover from setbacks.
How are you preparing them to learn these skills?
I act as a co-learner alongside my students, admit when I don’t have the answers, and I model active problem-solving skills. I come to school each day enthusiastic about what questions my students may have and what discoveries they might make.
Tell us about one of the most rewarding moments in your teaching career.
A few proud moments I have experienced with my class involved two long PBL (project-based learning) projects. The first was a Chair Challenge posed to my first group of fourth graders in 2014. We were exploring different learning needs and students were challenged to design the perfect chair for their needs. These chairs were presented at the Maker Faire and won a blue ribbon of merit for “Best in Show.”
Another proud moment was in 2016 when students redesigned the empty landing space on top of the Building D and turned it into an outdoor classroom. When the weather is nice, students are often seen out in the space working on various tasks.
Lastly, this year we tried a new approach to our overnight camping trip to Black Rock Mountain. Instead of doing all the preliminary prepping and planning, we let the students lead the trip. They worked in small groups and had a schedule of when they would be required to cook a meal, clean after a meal, organize and lead an activity, and build a fire. It made the experience so much more fulfilling.
Which historical character would you most like to meet?
I would host a Socratic seminar and invite Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud, Elon Musk, and Jane Goodall. I would discuss everything imaginable and find peaceful solutions to ailments of the world.
What is something that none of your students know about you?
One thing my students don’t know about me is that I was raised in small village in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.