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Staff Spotlight: Whitney Christie & Shira Katlin

Staff Spotlight: Whitney Christie & Shira Katlin
Posted on 11/13/2017
whitneyStaff Spotlight: 
Whitney Christie, 1st/2nd Grade Teacher

What do you do at G&P?
I am a Grade 1 and 2 teacher. I teach 1st grade this year with the best class #Room107. It is a looping class, so I will be teaching the same students next year for 2nd grade.

How long have you been at G&P?
This is my first year. I am very excited about it!!

Where are you from?
I am from West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am also a first generation Guyanese- American. My family is from Guyana, South America.

Teaching motto or favorite education quote?
“Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care” (unknown)

Describe your all-time favorite lesson/unit activity.
I absolutely love snack time. I appreciate those short moments when I can sit with my students and get to know them in a nonacademic way. I learn about their interesting afterschool and weekend adventures. Sometimes, I even get to make connections with them.

How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I always knew that I wanted to go into education. As a young child, I loved to sit my younger cousins down on my stairs and played school. Even though they were 4 and 5 year olds, I still gave them homework. Since then, I pursued a lot of teacher-ish positions at after school programs, summer camps and high schools. I later realized that I wanted to teach when I was an intern at a non-profit organization centered on education in D.C. One day, I sat at my computer and started to cry because I missed “my students.” In that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.

shiraStaff Spotlight: 
Shira Katlin, Physical Education Teacher

What do you do at G&P?
At Graham and Parks I have the privilege of being a Physical Education teacher!

How long have you been at G&P?
This is my first year at Graham and Parks and everyone has been incredibly welcoming. Thank you!

Where are you from?
I am from the rolling mountains of Western Massachusetts and the refreshing waters of Frenchman Bay in Maine. I’m from a family that likes to sing and dance and friends that like to run and do triathlons. I’m from from cross-country skiing and African drumming. I’m from small and fluffy dogs that like to play in the park. I’m from All-School Meetings and Morning Messages. I am from Heartbreak Hill and City Splash/Swim the Charles.

Teaching motto or favorite education quote?
The world becomes what we teach!

Who were your favorite teachers? Why?
I am grateful to have had educators that have guided me, challenged me, and given me opportunity to grow. In middle school my teacher Jane created an intentional classroom with a balance of academics, art, science, and technology. My teacher Sue helped me learn my multiplication using a piano, I can still sing my 4’s to the tune of a piano scale. Bob Strachota introduced me to an ambitious project and in 7th and 8th grade I delved head first into fully restoring a 1973 VW beetle. In high school Linda Burlak introduced me to Marine Biology which lead me to learning aboard large sailing vessels in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In College, Bonnie Tai offered Changing Schools, Changing Society where I began to see myself as a life long learner. I’ve always been an energetic learner and each of these insightful teachers supported my success.

What do you love about G&P?
I love that G&P has a community of passionate learners and engaged community members. I love that each teacher, student, staff member, family, and friend brings their own perspective and experience to our school.