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What's Up Magazine

Julie Bonner

Jan 09, 2018 03:32PM ● By Caley Breese

Photo by Tony Lewis, Jr.

St. Martin’s in-the-Field Episcopal School, Severna Park


Years Teaching Overall: 10

Years Teaching at St. Martin’s:
3

Currently teaching:
5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Mathematics & Technology

Proudest teaching moment:
“I believe one of the most important things I can do as an educator is help my students become confident learners who have the ability to persevere. I have a student that I began teaching about two years ago. She unfortunately did not believe in herself when it came to her mathematical abilities. She was quiet in class, rarely participated, and struggled with the material. Over time I worked to grow her confidence by giving her opportunities to succeed on a daily basis. I believed in her and made sure she knew that. I also made sure she knew my classroom was a safe space to both succeed and make mistakes, as learning comes from making mistakes. Just the other day her mother shared with me her recent experience while shadowing a high school. The administrator had commented on how impressed he was with her confidence and how willing she was to participate in the math class even though she knew no one there. While I am not her math teacher this school year, she often comes to share how well she is doing and how much she likes math. When I think of her two years ago and see the growth
today, it inspires me to continue my work as an educator.”  

Teaching Philosophy:
  “As an educator, I believe my job is to take the content I teach and make it as engaging, exciting, and relevant as possible for my students. My focus isn’t simply on sharing my content though, it’s on helping each of my students develop and grow as individuals. I believe wholeheartedly in my school’s mission to nurture the growth of confidence, compassion, and character in each and every one of my students.”

Toughest challenge facing educators:
“As educators we often struggle with finding the best ways to reach every student in our classroom. Each student comes to us with individual needs as well as past experiences that can affect their learning. I try my best to learn and understand what each of my students need. I alter my instruction to address a variety of learning styles and find multiple ways to assess student learning other than just traditional testing. I believe the classroom environment plays a large role in student success. I try to provide a learning environment where we balance both fun and rigor. I want my students to feel comfortable and ‘at home’ in my classroom but to also be driven to do their best each and every day.”

"Julie works diligently to ensure her middle school students have a rich and relevant math and technology experience. Her classroom reflects a dynamic 21st century setting that promotes meaningful hands-on learning opportunities for her students to gain confidence and competence with both math and technology. In her time at St. Martin’s, Julie’s been able to develop her own innovative curriculum so students are exposed to coding, engineering, and maker-education. Taking the lead on our family STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Night and our Annual Cardboard Boat Challenge, Julie encourages her students to work hard to identify problems and solutions. Julie is a consummate learner herself, taking time to search for new approaches and ideas which tap into the unique potential of each of her students.” —Jamey Hein, Head of School