Ms. Stanford grew up in upstate New York with her parents, younger brother, and younger sister. She loved school and went to college at the University of Vermont. She double-majored in Religion and Asian Studies. Ms. Stanford studied abroad in Japan her junior year, and after graduating, returned to Japan to teach elementary and middle school English through the JET Programme for two years. Upon returning to the U.S, she worked in an independent book store and read as many books as possible. She then moved to Boston and worked at Match Community Day Charter School while enrolled in the Charles Sposato Graduate School of Education. This is her second year in the master’s program, and she’s so excited to continue her teaching journey at Alma del Mar!
Why did you choose the Alma team?
I chose to join the Alma team because there is a joy present there that I wanted forefront in my workplace, and in the educational experiences of my scholars. I love that Alma is a K-8 school, and I can’t wait to see kids of all ages learning in this supportive, challenging, and loving environment. Alma seems like a place where teachers and scholars alike push each other to grow, and I can’t wait to be a part of it all!
What do you hope to contribute to Alma?
What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?
To grow as an educator.
What teacher made a difference in your life — how?
My 8th-grade teacher had a huge impact on me as a student and as an educator. She was my math teacher for four years and really taught me to love the struggle of learning something new. As my 8th-grade homeroom teacher, she taught me about being a role model to younger students, embracing my role as a leader of the school, and exploring new parts of myself. I hope to embody her trust in her students and her ability to excite kids over learning as I grow into my teacher skin.
Why did you become involved in education?
I had an incredible elementary school experience growing up, attending a small Catholic school with a very tight community. My family had many wonderful friendships from that school, with parents and teachers alike, and I had similarly powerful relationships with many of my teachers. Such a positive experience early on has always made me consider teaching as a possible career. When I moved to Japan, I worked with simply incredible teachers who played an incredible role in the lives of the children they taught and the town we lived in. Seeing how they all worked so hard and strived to better themselves as educators to enrich the lives of their children, absolutely lit a fire in me. Teachers occupy such an important place in society and the lives of children…It’s terrifying to think of the responsibility, but also incredibly inspiring. I’ve still got a long way to go in my growth as an educator, but I’m excited to take that journey!
Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?
I went to college at the University of Vermont. I loved my college because it was big enough that I was always meeting new people but small enough where I felt like a part of a distinct community. I loved being part of a tiny academic department and playing in the pep band to support all the sports teams. I loved the friends I made and the way college expanded my world view beyond anything I’d considered before!
What is your favorite book?
My favorite place in the world is Japan!