Key School Staff
A Dedicated Team of Professionals
From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.
With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.
Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment.
Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.
Get to know Jennifer Middlemas:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “I came to CDS with a background in public school. In the public school world, I felt very restricted in what and how I could teach. When I came to CDS, I was happy to experience an institution where the children and their needs mattered most. We are school based on research and heart.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “There are many things I like about my job, but the community of CDS is the most important thing to me. When I say community I am referring to my colleagues, the students, and the parents. We care deeply for one another. The support I see offered to a member in crisis is astounding. I am proud and humbled to be a member of the CDS family.”
In your opinion, how does the CDS community inspire students to be courageous and curious, wonder about things that they don’t understand, try new things, and develop individual passions? “The environment in my classroom and the school is one of safety. The students feel safe to explore new things and ideas because of the community support. They feel comfortable taking risks because they have watched others fail then pick themselves up and try again. Also, the safety net they feel encourages them to take risks and try new things.”
How would you describe your classroom? “I set my classroom up to be a cozy, welcoming environment which is neat and organized. I want my students to learn to organize their space and make the classroom their home away from home. Safety at school is my number one goal. I make sure my room is a place where we are all treated with respect.”
What books and authors inspire you? “I do not have a single author who inspires me. Each story, article, or textbook I read informs and inspires my work in the classroom.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Oscar Wilde...You can never be overdressed or overeducated. Just kidding! Learning is not a spectator sport. So let’s PLAY!”
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Imagine it... then dare to achieve it!”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “I think I am known for the guide dog puppies I raise in my classroom. It has helped the students realize it is important to work hard for a cause in which they believe. I am also known to be a teacher that enjoys my role of working with partnership with parents to achieve all of our goals.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “I have a passion for animals and their well being. The desire to advocate for their well being has changed how I interact with the natural world.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “I enjoy coming to work each day! The relationships I have with my colleagues, students, and parents are very important to me.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “When I was in school, it was a place to go each day with a series of assignments to be completed. I felt no investment in what I was learning, and I did not internalize the information as much I should have. At CDS, I feel students are deeply invested in their education. Their curiosity helps them to internalize the experiences they encounter each day! I also think school is so much more fun and engaging now! We rock!”