The joy of learning. That’s the phrase you are likeliest to hear when talking with Grade 4 teacher Katie Pluebell-Lord about students and education. “There is an excitement about learning that you can feel, a happiness and curiosity about discovery, and at the same time, a kindness, welcoming, and respect.” She is describing her first impressions of Green Hedges, and the concordance between those impressions and her own guiding philosophy. “The adults are welcoming,” she adds, “but more remarkably, the students are welcoming.”
Ms. Pluebell-Lord has taught or tutored students at all pre-college levels, and has often noticed herself thinking, “This is the most wonderful age and developmental stage to teach.” Except, she says, there is something really special about Grade 4. Having taught Grade 3 and 4 students at Green Acres School in North Bethesda for 10 years before teaching this age group at Green Hedges, Ms. Pluebell-Lord relishes their particular developmental signature. “They are honing their sense of humor at this age, and refining their sense of self,” she says.
Ms. Pluebell-Lord graduated from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA, with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry. Assuming she was destined for a career in science, she soon found that her own joy was intensified when her work involved teaching. A serendipitous stint in a Grade 1 classroom sealed the deal, and she subsequently earned an M.Ed. degree from the University of Maryland.
A native of Vienna, Ms. Pluebell-Lord enjoys skiing, practicing Vinyasa yoga, and spending family time with her husband and young daughter.