Middle School 

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Elaine Dephouse

  Name Relationship Roles HH ?  
  Annie Dephouse Daughter Alumni    
Faculty Information
Location(s) Middle School
Title(s) Middle School Grade 6 Language Arts/Social Studies
Other Information

Elaine Dephouse is a sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher and has been working at Carolina Day School since 2006. She has two children at CDS. Elaine has completed the Orton-Gillingham training at the Key School, and has attended the Guirian Institute for single gender education as Carolina Day’s representative.

Get to know Elaine Dephouse:
In what ways can you teach/engage children at CDS that you couldn't at other schools?At Carolina Day, our small classes make it easy for me to really get to know the students, both as learners and as individuals. Because I work so closely with each student, after just a few weeks of school I have a good sense of where they are as writers, what they like to read, what their learning styles are, and what they like to do for fun! For example, during a writing assignment, I am able to work individually with each student several times, identifying weaknesses and teasing out strengths. Each student in my class is given individual attention and personalized writing goals. Another way Carolina Day helps me engage students is in the ability to design, develop, and maintain curriculum. I can adjust the curriculum, tempo, or pace of my lessons on the needs of my students.”
What do you like most about your job at CDS? I often say that I smile a lot during my day at CDS.  The students at Carolina Day want to be here, and they enjoy learning. They are intelligent, well-spoken, curious, and inquisitive. Their enthusiasm for school is contagious, and I look forward to each new class! I also enjoy working with smart and dedicated teachers.”
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 biggest factor that supports curiosity and intellectual courage is the awareness among faculty and students that it is important to take risks with learning, and sometimes failure is a consequence. We often ask students to reflect on activities and assignments, and we encourage them to occasionally choose assignments that maybe did not go as well as they had hoped. We want to them to learn from mistakes, to challenge themselves intellectually, and to have the courage to think differently.”
How would you describe your classroom? Physically, my classroom is bright, comfortable, and organized. I often hear from older students that they miss my room, and I usually have 7th and 8th graders come into my room during break just to hang out. I have tried to design a space that is not only comfortable and inviting, but also safe and supportive. Agendas are posted daily, reminders are updated regularly, supplies are organized, and I am happy to welcome them to class every day.”
What books and authors inspire you? I have attended one workshop and read several books by Nanci Atwell. I love her philosophy of writing for middle school aged students. Nanci Atwell’s message is that students, particularly middle school aged students, are natural writers. Students can amaze themselves and others with the right instruction and support. Her books and workshops provide practical tips for incorporating this philosophy into daily practice.  I have incorporated several of her strategies into my curriculum, including the Reading Zone, Naming the World (lessons on poetry) and Lessons that Change Writers.”  
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning? I like Gandhi's Ten Fundamentals for Changing the World. This year with one of my exploratory classes, I learned how to write in calligraphy, and I wrote out the fundamentals and posted them in my classroom. They are: change yourself, you are in control, forgive and let go, take care of this moment, without action you aren’t going anywhere, everyone is human, see the good in people and help them, persist, be congruent, be authentic, be your true self, and continue to grow and evolve.”
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Enthusiastically teaching and learning from bright, motivated students.”
Which classroom projects/events are you known for? “The touchstone project in the 6th grade is the Family History Project. With our direction and guidance, the students create a treasured keepsake for themselves and their family. By completing this project, students have a sense of who they are and why. They gain an appreciation for their family, both known and unknown to them. This project grounds our students as they head into their middle school years and beyond. Rainbow Bay is another project that I particularly enjoy. This interdisciplinary project, lead by language arts and social studies, is a culmination of the year’s work, incorporating language arts, social studies, math, and science into a two week long simulation that students become invested in and remember. They role play construction companies designing an environmentally sound and efficient road system for a fictional city. They create personas and participate in a local government meeting to discuss the roadway. Students become emotionally involved and invested in their designs. Many times, during the wrap up at the end of the project, students exclaim, “I can’t believe how real that felt!” or “ That was really fun, and I had to use what we learned all year!”.”  
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “I am an avid tennis player, playing at least once or twice a week all year long. I also enjoy designing and making jewelry, and I attend jewelry making classes as often as I can. Reading is a passion, and I enjoy all kinds of books, especially historical fiction.”
How is CDS different from what you experienced as a child in school? “I wish I could have attended a school like Carolina Day, and I am so happy that my own children are here. I have seen my children and my students grow to become confident learners who take responsibility for their education.  I have seen them work hard to accomplish a goal, and I have seen them struggle, too. Most importantly, I have seem them value hard work, innovation, and problem solving, rather than memorizing facts for a grade.” 


Contact Information
School Email
School Phone
(828) 274-0758   x374
Degree(s) B.A., Furman University
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