Get your week off to a great start this morning by meeting 4th grade teacher Whitney Earhart! Whitney and her 4th grade students have recently been involved in fun activities like the Spelling Bee and Biography fair. Check out what Whitney has to say about some of the things we wanted to know!
Q: You are a 4th grade Language arts and History teacher, what is the favorite book that you read with the kids during the school year? What are some books that you enjoy reading on your own free time?
A: It’s really hard to choose a favorite book. We read so many great titles, and we’re adding new ones all the time. Of course, Charlotte’s Web, is a classic and we always start the year with that one. It is such a great model for much of the writing we do. The book we’re reading now, The Liberation of Gabriel King, is wonderful, too, because it is completely unfamiliar to the kids, and it tackles issues of race, bullying, friendship, and overcoming fears. I also love the read-alouds we do together. Fourth graders still love to be read to. They can’t wait to hear the next chapter!
Most of the reading I do outside of school is just for fun. Right now, I’m reading a book by Herman Wouk called Don’t Stop the Carnival. It’s set in the British Virgin Islands which is where my sister lives. I love it, because I’ve visited there and can imagine all the scenes so vividly. I also love books by Adriana Trigiani – all stories about her Italian immigrant family.
A: I am finishing my 13th year at Ensworth, which is hard for me to believe. When I came here, my only teaching experience had been in Memphis City Schools. I thought I had died and gone to teacher heaven. It was so great to be in such a wonderful faculty with all the supplies my heart could desire! Obviously, since then I have fallen in love with the school community. I love the people I work with and consider so many of them my friends. It has been a treat to see so many of my former students grow up and to teach so many of their siblings. This place really is like a second family. Ensworth supports us in our professional development, and I feel very fortunate to work in this challenging, supportive, and fun environment.
Q: The countdown to summer is on…what are you doing on your couple months off?
A: In the summer, I direct Ensworth’s Junior Camp which I’ve done for about ten years, I think. I love the change of pace that comes with working with rising pre-first graders. That will take care of June, and in July I hope to take some trips to visit friends and family, including a beach vacation.
Q: Tell us about team teaching. How does that work? What do you enjoy about it?
A: When I first started teaching at Ensworth, there were only three teachers per grade, and we all taught our own subjects. When we changed to four homerooms, it was the perfect opportunity to change the structure of our grade. Bev Roberts and I paired up to teach language arts and social studies, leaving math and science to our teammates. It is so great that we each have a partner with whom we can plan and develop curriculum. Then we have another partner, in my case Chris Champion, with whom we share the kids. I love it! Bev and I work together on issues about teaching, and Chris and I partner up for issues related to our students.
A: If I could switch places with any teacher, I think it would be Dr. Tory Green at EHS. French is the language I took as a student in middle school, high school, and college, and I loved it. I miss it being taught in our lower school, and I would love to see the opportunities our French students have at the high school.
Q: Who is the next EHS faculty member that you would like to see featured on the blog?
A: Danny Wright