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What's Up Magazine

Victoria Scheffer

Jan 08, 2018 03:06PM ● By Caley Breese

Photo by Tony Lewis, Jr.

The Alpert Family Aleph Bet Jewish Day School, Annapolis

Years Teaching Overall: 6

Years Teaching at Aleph Bet:

Grade and subjects taught
: 3rd and 4th grade General studies and Hebrew and Judaic studies 

Proudest teaching moment:
“It is a wonderful privilege to be able to mark the extraordinary progress and maturation of my students from the early days of third grade all the way to their fifth grade graduation day. This past May, one of my proudest teaching moments happened while watching my fifth graders graduate and deliver a number of heart-warming and endearing speeches regarding their time spent and the collective memories they made here at Aleph Bet. When one student in particular even mentioned a future in the field of history, it warmed my heart to be able to see my own small contributions as a classroom teacher present in their dreams and future pursuits—as an educator, you could not ask for more.”   

Teaching Philosophy:
“When it comes to educational theories, I am a strong proponent of the work of theorist Howard Gardner and his ground-breaking concept of ‘Multiple Intelligences.’ At its core, this theory touts the fact that each child has their own preferred learning modality, a preference and style that should be nurtured and leveraged in the classroom through differentiation and personal attention. Learning theories aside, however, I truly became a teacher in order to help bring up a generation of students for whom academic curiosity and educational inquest does not merely end when the bell rings for dismissal. As a community and country at large, we must encourage a dedication to learning and education in order to encourage our students to become ‘life-long learners’—a pursuit promoted by Founding Father and early educational theorist, Thomas Jefferson.” 

Toughest challenge facing educators:
“As a teacher in the 21st century, I do feel that we are facing an entirely new and unique set of challenges as we work to meet the needs of our ‘digital native’ learners. Born firmly ensconced in this new digital age, our students have never known a time without tablets, high-speed internet, and near-instant communication. Given this, many of students no longer respond to more passive forms of teaching. That does not mean as teachers that we need to sacrifice content in favor of technology. In contrast, teachers must work on better incorporating instructional technologies into their classrooms to meet the needs of our learners. However, we must remember that such incorporation must be both engaging and authentic, and never at the expense of content. In my classroom, I work very hard to make instructional technology a seamless, ever-present part of the classroom; aimed at improving and enhancing student knowledge.”

"Ms. Scheffer has a wonderful work ethic, not only did she tackle her first years of teaching, she went back to school to get her Master’s in Educational Technology. I love the way she integrates technology into her classroom. She engages her students with interactive blogs and websites in such an organic way that allows students to use technology as a tool in their education. Ms. Scheffer has a wonderful sense of humor that lets her students know it is okay to make mistakes and often laughs at her own mistakes to promote an atmosphere that learning is a process that allows you to grow. It is always wonderful to find a young teacher with such a gift for engaging, encouraging, and enriching her students.” —Sarah White, Head of School