Colbey Waggoner EducatE. inspire. create.

As my experience as an educator has grown, my passion for learning, playing and creating with children continues to grow as well. After nearly a decade of professional growth in the field of education, my greatest observation is that the classroom should be a warm, inviting space for exploration, and the teacher should be the trusted guide who cultivates learning throughout each moment of the day. I strive to create this environment for the children and the families I have the pleasure of working with, giving them a positive year of discovery and growth.

If you glance into my classroom today, you will see evidence of research-based strategies and practice gained from experience teaching in public, Montessori and charter school settings. I am fortunate to have experience teaching in classrooms with preschool aged children - 3rd grade, as I understand the importance of building a strong foundation in literacy and mathematics, while instilling a love of learning into each child through play, art and music. Though academics play a tremendous role in early childhood education, it is important to focus on the whole child. Providing experiences that support each student’s social, emotional and physical development will ensure that we meet the needs of our children in these critical stages of their early lives.

Creating thematic units based on student interest allow for some of the greatest learning experiences to take place. Children are eager to dive into various cultures through art, music, dancing and more. Showcasing student work and inviting parents to be a part of our leaning allow students to take ownership and pride in their projects and education. Whether our learning takes us into the wildly fascinating mind of Salvador Dali or on a space exploration journey to Mars, there is room for all subject areas as well as higher-order thinking to take place. When creating a unit, it is important to keep student interest in mind, while involving as many different learning styles as possible. Maintaining this balance will keep student engagement level high, with minimal room for distractions that could possibly hinder students from new discoveries. Featured below is a unit I created with a co-teacher in a Montessori Kindergarten classroom. Grab your passport as we island hop through the Bahamas, and I take you through an example of an International Fair our classroom put together for our families.

Visual/Spatial: Student’s were able to choose from selected Bahamian inspired art to replicate and produce their own paintings. Musical/Naturalistic/Kinesthetic: Students created musical instruments resembling a maraca from household materials and rocks they collected on a nature walk.
Logical/Mathematical/Interpersonal: Students created handwoven straw baskets to trade fruit and other materials they made at the “Straw Market” which is a traditional way to earn money in the Bahamian culture.
Interpersonal/Verbal Linguistic: Students learned national symbols of the Bahamas, such as the flag and flower, through art projects and literacy to accompany them. Also pictured are student-created drums contructed out of collected coffee cans and fabric scraps. The drums were used as students produced drumbeat rhythms during circle time.
After graduating from Texas A&M-Commerce in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, my experience learning and growing with children has not been limited to the classroom. I’ve taught back handsprings to children in a tiny village outside of Protrero Chico, Mexico, laughed with others in Vietnam as we (brokenly) communicated in each other’s native language, and rock climbed with international students in Tonsai, Thailand. One thing I’ve learned no matter where my passions have taken me is that each child is a unique individual, who deserves every opportunity to reach their greatest potential in life.

Contact Information: colbeywaggoner@yahoo.com 214-797-4467