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Tyler McIlwraith

Lotspeich Lower School Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
B.A. Early Childhood Education, St. Louis University
M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, Arizona State University

Teaching Philosophy

Important skills I want to teach my students

I want my students to become lifelong learners. I want them to seek new information and understanding because of their innate curiosity and drive to know more. Teaching methods to reach these goals I try to make our classroom as hands-on as possible. If we are learning about pumpkins, the students are going to taste, touch, see, smell and hear pumpkins. Squishing the pulp between their fingers is much more exciting than reading about it in a book. I want the children to explore whatever we are studying in as many ways as possible.

My favorite projects

I like our spring bird study, which coincides with the sixth grade bird project. At the end of our study, our students—in full bird costumes—meet with the sixth-graders and share what they have learned. The pre-kindergartners read bird books with the older students and observe a bird banding session in action. The young students get very excited about their sixth-grade friends and love seeing them later around campus.

What I like best about teaching at Seven Hills

I truly love the community feel that Seven Hills provides. We get to watch our students grow up—we see some of them around campus for 15 years!