Grade 2 Co-Teacher
What special perspective does being a substitute teacher bring, and does speaking German fluently have anything to do with it? Michelle Figaro is this fall’s long-term substitute co-teacher in Grade 2 during Michelle Davis’ maternity leave. After spending last year substituting across Green Hedges grades, including a long-term assignment as a long-term substitute in Montessori, Ms. Figaro says, “I was in lots of classrooms, so I know almost all the students. And, I notice that every teacher and administrator knows them, too. There is involvement from the families, an amazing faculty, warmth, and a global mindset. That last part is important, because it teaches students to feel at home wherever they are in the world.”
Ms. Figaro has always been involved with children, taking care of younger siblings and tutoring math and SAT prep in high school on Long Island. After graduating with a double major in German and Linguistics from Stony Brook University in New York, she went on to receive a Master’s in Teaching from the same institution. She has lived in Germany on several occasions, during her studies and also as a teacher of English as a foreign language.
Reflecting on her current students, Ms. Figaro explains, “I worked in Green Hedges’ summer camp for six weeks, so I met some of my students before the year began. It made the first days of school go more smoothly.” Along with four other Green Hedges teachers, Ms. Figaro spent another part of her summer being trained to use a set of research-based instructional strategies known as Responsive Classroom. “Continuing education is important,” she says, adding, “we teach in the best way possible in order to enhance learning.”
Outside the classroom, Ms. Figaro is an avid gardener who also enjoys hiking, running, and spending time with her family and fiancé.