Love of children and love of teaching are two qualities evident as Monica Bess, Grade 1 co-teacher, describes some favorite moments in her professional life. “I remember when I first began working with young children,” she says, “and I realized how capable they are, how many skills they already have. It gave me such respect for them, and made me want to dedicate myself to helping them grow.”
Mrs. Bess earned her B.S. in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood from Radford University in Virginia and has extensive experience teaching in both public and private schools. She enjoys guiding children’s discovery in all subject areas and attending to their needs for both individual and group learning, a combination that, she says, “makes their learning more meaningful.” Her teaching of reading is guided by specialized training in the Orton-Gillingham Method, an approach that uses a multi-sensory method of teaching and incorporates basic language use rules into lessons, helping young students of all skill levels become stronger readers. She appreciates Green Hedges, she says, because here there is ample time and space given to the learning process, with assessment and administrative tasks in balance. And, praising the school’s long-standing tradition of honoring the arts, Mrs. Bess points out that teaching the arts has academic and social benefits for students, and can also be used to reinforce learning in other subject areas.
Mrs. Bess enjoys a wide range of activities outside her time in the classroom. If her students travel in the Mid-Atlantic, they might find her on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, river tubing on the Shenandoah River, wearing a variety of costumes at the Renaissance Fair, or enjoying various activities with her nieces and nephews. Her interest in history includes reading historical fiction.