Meet Ms. Carmen, our Discovery 4th Grade Teacher!
Ms. Carmen grew up on a horse farm in Kentucky with her parents and four siblings. She graduated from Union College in Lincoln NE, with a degree in Elementary Education. She and her husband of six years, Jamie Roberts, recently moved from Orlando, Florida, and have enjoyed exploring Colorado this past year. They also enjoy visiting and spending time with extended family from Kentucky & Tennessee. In her free time, Ms. Carmen enjoys all outdoor activities; yoga, campfires, paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, camping, horses etc. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling abroad - places including Peru, Dominican, Puerto Rico, and Europe! Authentic tacos and pizza are two of her favorite foods, and she loves coffee and tea.
While Ms. Carmen is just finishing up her first year at Renaissance, this is her third year of teaching. Her teaching career began at Orlando Science Elementary School (OSES), a STEM based school. It was at OSES where Ms. Carmen’s love for a hands-on and student centered approach to learning grew, as this approach aligned with her personal teaching philosophy. “I absolutely love kids and have a passion for growing/learning each day. One thing I love about teaching is connecting with students, family and staff. For me, connection gives opportunities to practice kindness, commitment, and growth every day! Another aspect I enjoy about teaching is that I can foster a love for learning in my students. Being in a learning environment has helped me to practice a growth mindset and I model this with my students every day. I believe the heart of teaching is all about learning that our mistakes help us to grow. Being able to share a growth mindset with my students is what makes teaching meaningful to me! Expedition Learning, at its core, is a lifelong mindset of contributing to a better world. This means exploring questions like 'how can I be an ethical human,' 'what is my purpose and how can I feel a sense of belonging,' and, 'what does it mean to me to be an effective learner?' As students explore various units in science and social studies with the mindset of contributing to a better world, they will make deeper connections with and take ownership of their learning. As I’ve grown personally and professionally, I have found that teaching and learning is most meaningful when there is emotion involved! Pulling together educational resources on a topic I am passionate about has a spark that easily transfers over to the students. Throughout my formal education, I used the principle of Learning Expedition. When I had the opportunity to to write on, study, or explore a topic that was meaningful to me, I did! I understood that when I was invested emotionally, I was able to be authentically engaged in my work.”
Ms. Carmen’s philosophy of teaching has three parts: “I believe teachers should establish a positive and productive learning environment and should expect great things from all of their students. Teachers should engage with students personally as well as academically help build that connection that is so vital to learning. Every student is an individual and learns in a different way and it’s a teacher’s job to meet their needs and make sure they have the tools they need to be successful! Finally, I believe that learning is a lifelong process and I want my students to have a growth mindset and be as passionate about learning as I am.”
Looking ahead, Ms. Carmen plans to adopt a puppy from our local animal shelter and continue sharing adventures with family, friends and their future fur-baby! Additionally, she’s thoroughly enjoyed this year's voyages and is looking forward to next year's outdoor adventures!
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