Hi, I'm Katri!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Finland, and have lived in New York for 4 years. Early education in Finland is highly play-based, and being the product of the system myself has really helped me see the importance of the time and space for play. I consider the natural curiosity of children a major tool in learning, of which we should take maximum advantage. Children in my class will be trusted to take responsibility of their own learning as much as they are ready for. What I find important in a classroom is communicating the importance of a respectful, warm community, where we build each other up. My goal is educating mindful individuals who take others into consideration and are confident in solving problems on their own. Learning through play is what I genuinely enjoy, and am drawn to in a classroom. I like to dive in play with the children to learn about them and seek teachable moments. Some of my personal passions are reading, cooking, art, playing guitar and singing!

What's your philosophy on what it means to be a great teacher? A great teacher is one who lives up to his/her expectations from the children, is considerate and encouraging, knows his/her children and ensures a safe and comfortable space to be in.

In your opinion, what is the role of the live teacher in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to get access to information through the internet and online courses? In my opinion, a successful teacher is more than source of information. Children and the youth need modeling and guidance for self-knowledge, social skills and life skills. My understanding of an ideal learning situation is one where the child knows what kind of learner they are and feel confident in taking the lead in getting the information they need to satisfy their curiosity.

How can we, as teachers of children, work to build a society where people are respectful towards each other and the environment? The children need knowledge and motivation to help them relate to a respectful approach rather than obeying rules that they don't understand. Learning about the environment and our surroundings is the first step to understanding what kinds of effects our actions may have. In social situations, it is crucial to give the children opportunities to feel empathy and to experience success in friendships.

What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management? I want to make sure that I've done my best to prevent situations that might need behavioral management by getting to know the children, understanding them and modeling desired behavior at all times. If an issue arises, I prefer to talk to only the children that were involved to prevent unnecessary attention. In case of ongoing misuse of privileges, the organic consequence will be (temporary) loss of those privileges.

Are there any projects you’ve done (related or unrelated to teaching) that you’d like to share?  I have been involved with the Finnish community of New York for 3.5 years teaching play groups, gatherings and infant/toddler music classes. I am passionate about music, and have an interest in children's literature. A long-term project of mine is writing and illustrating a children's book in the future.

Credentials: Associate's Degree in Early Childhood education with GPA of 3.9

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