Maureen Beyt has taught second and third grades at independent schools since she began her career in 2003. Maureen has attended numerous conferences and has presented as well. She is also a Seesaw Ambassador, providing professional development and support for our digital learning journals experience in the Lower School. She and her husband are parents to sons James ’31 and Scott ’33.
Get to know Maureen Beyt:
What interesting background, training, etc. do you bring to your position? “I have served in several leadership positions throughout my tenure in teaching, most recently taking on the role of a Seesaw Ambassador. Seesaw is a phenomenal digital portfolio for students to document their learning and practice digital citizenship in an authentic, safe, and engaging way.”
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools? “There is a beautiful and unique environment within an independent school. Students are truly supported by their teachers to engage in learning that is meaningful and centered on their individual needs. These traits thrive at CDS because teachers have the freedom to tailor the deliver the curriculum in the way that best meets their classes!”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I absolutely love second grade, and it’s pretty much the only grade I’ve taught since I began my teaching career in 2003! Each year I enjoy getting to know my students and their families and guide the children as they continue to grow as learners. I also feel truly blessed to work with a fabulous faculty and staff!"
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? “I am thrilled to be a part of CDS’ new direction in inquiry-based learning! This will give the kids practice with the tools to help them be lifelong learners. Our faculty also provides individualized support to each child as a learner. This attention boosts their self-worth when they face challenges and encourages them to keep trying.”
How would you describe your classroom? “Vibrant, engaged, structured, and nurturing are ways I would describe my classroom. My kids all know how important they are to me, even when they leave my room and move up to new classrooms.”
What books and authors inspire you, your curriculum, and your classroom? Why? “I am intrigued and enjoy attending seminars presented by Dr. Dave Walsh, a brain researcher and founder of ‘Mind Positive Parenting’ offering advice for parents and teachers with strategies to help their children be successful. When I’m on the hunt for new ideas for teaching a particular unit or topic, I am so inspired by all the ideas/philosophies on teacher blogs as well as resources on TeachersPayTeachers. It truly ‘takes a village to raise a child,’ but I like to think it also takes a village to support those teaching the children!”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” - William Butler Yeats
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Love, laughter, creativity, and patience surround my students.”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “Two of the projects my students often talk about is our ‘My Dream Room’ project and the ‘Warm & Fuzzy Notes’ project. The ‘My Dream Room’ project allows each of my students to use their newly-learned area and perimeter skills to create a model of a room of their dreams. I provide the cardboard box and materials, and the kids take it from there! It can be any room, not just a bedroom! The ‘Warm & Fuzzy Notes’ cross-curricular project involves math and language arts. The students get real-world experience with measuring area and perimeter of a box, wrapping the box, and writing sweet notes to each other to put in each other’s box. Their ‘Warm and Fuzzy Notes’ project is then taken home to open and enjoy the sweet notes! Another thing I’m known for is ‘cute-ifying’ things, as coined by my students! I feel this opens up the door for them to express themselves creatively too!”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “Anything that lets me be creative! Scrapbooking, crafts, designing my lessons and projects for my class, theater. I also love being around my large extended family! My husband and I grew up in South Louisiana, so I enjoy keeping those traditions going with my family and my class when possible.”
Is there anything else we should know about you and your work? “My entire teaching career has been in 2nd and 3rd grade independent schools! It is truly my calling to teach in this atmosphere and these grades. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was at least eight years old, even asking for and getting bulletin board supplies and stickers as my Christmas presents back then! It is a joy to fulfill my dreams of inspiring my students to be life-long learners and pursue what fills them with joy.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? Why/how is what you see now valuable? “I attended a private school from Kindergarten through high school. While I loved school, it was definitely very structured without a lot of projects and supported risk-taking. When I started practicum work in college, I was placed at two independent schools. What an eye opener! I wish I’d had an outlet for this kind of creativity and individual attention from all my teachers when I was in school! My 2nd grade teacher was my favorite teacher. She incorporated projects for us, and the love she showed me after I continued on from her class inspires me to do the same for my students.”