Dianne Meinhardt, Third Grade Teacher

We’re introducing you to our TCS teachers! Click here to go to the TCS blog to see the other teachers we’ve profiled.

Today, we’re introducing you to Dianne Meinhardt, third-grade teacher!

Dianne has been teaching for 21 years with 17 of those years right here at The Children’s School. Before TCS, she taught kindergarten-fifth grade at two different elementary schools in New Jersey, where she was born.

What skills do you hope your students will learn by the time they leave your classroom? How are you preparing them to learn these skills?
We strive to help our children become more independent in their learning. We also work to help them share and collaborate with their peers. We hope to instill a passion for learning, as well as an ever-expanding curiosity about the world around them. We encourage this by asking their opinions and having them ask us questions. We work with each other to embrace discomfort and think outside of the box.

What about teaching makes you excited to come to school every day?
Teaching is still exciting to me because each day can be so different. I never know, with certainty, how my students will be on any given day; happy, sad, frustrated, elated. That uncertainty keeps me energized and challenged in ways I never thought imaginable.

Tell us about one of the most rewarding moments in your teaching career.
Every day that I teach is rewarding and memorable because I know that I am making a difference in a child’s life. Not too many people can have such an impact on the world immediately surrounding them. Unexpected, former student visits are always fun. Walking down memory lane and sharing past experiences with them, is always enjoyable. Questions like, “Remember when it stormed at Red Top Mountain?” or “Do you still make edible rocks?” validate my teachings because no matter how small the memory, the children remember and want to come back and share them. The best part, though, is when they look at you with the same endearing smile and laughing eyes and tell you just how much they miss third grade and want to come back. That is the best moment of all.

If you could meet any fictional or historical figure, who would it be?
I’d like to meet Albert Einstein for his brilliance and Mahatma Gandhi for his life-long dedication to teaching pacifism and compromise.

What is something none of your students know about you?
Something that my students don’t know about me…I can sail a boat, play the piano and once sold shoes to Bruce Springsteen.