Upper School Science Teacher Natalie deVigne says the best skill her students can acquire is to become advocates for their learning—not being afraid to ask questions and being proactive to get help when they need it—a skill, she believes, will open doors for them in college.
“I encourage my students to come to my office hours,” says Natalie. “I like to be available for my students if they need help. I want them to be accountable and be advocates for themselves and their learning. If they can master this now and take it with them to college, so many doors will open up.”
Natalie started at Parker in 2009 as a learning center teacher, which is now known as The Gooding Family Academic Resource Center.
“I have so many learning strategies that I use from my time in the learning center,” says Natalie. “Whether it’s learning how to write a science essay or test-taking skills. I love it when students come in during their free time and ask for help.”
During flex and lunchtime, students are often found in Natalie’s room getting extra help or just hanging out. One thing is for sure that no one is afraid to be seen in front of their peers asking for help. Natalie says one of the best things about Parker is that the students know each other and their teachers so well that there is a culture of ensuring everyone is thriving.
“What I love about Parker is how close the students are with each other and how comfortable they are with asking questions in front of each other,” says Natalie. “They’re not afraid to show that they don’t know something. I believe Parker does a really good job of creating that community.”
Natalie says science has always been her favorite subject and she has found that teaching high school teenagers are her favorite pupils because they have so many thoughtful questions and fascinated they are when they get to do experiments.
“I’ve always loved the hands-on aspect of science,” says Natalie. “One of my favorite activities with my students is when they get to map out their own brains. The students put a swimmers cap on their heads and work with a partner to put Post-it Notes on the different regions on their head. Needless to say, we all get a kick out of having stickies all over our head.”
Natalie says she hopes her students not only enjoyed their time in her class but also grew as a person.
“What I love about Parker is how close the students are with each other and how comfortable they are with asking questions in front of each other. They’re not afraid to show that they don’t know something. I believe Parker does a really good job of creating that community.”Natalie deVigne