When Gretchen Leffew first began teaching, she set a goal for herself: earning a Master of Education degree.
In December, Leffew, who currently teaches Kindergarten at Davidson Day, achieved that goal, completing her coursework to earn a Master of Education degree with a concentration in STEM instruction for elementary-aged students.
"This was one of the hardest things I have done," said Leffew. "I was finishing my capstone classes when the pandemic initially began, and I was also teaching virtually, with my college-age sons learning from home, and my husband's job furloughed."
Yet, she rose to the challenge, and completed her capstone and her coursework, going beyond the content to understand how to bring her academic coursework to her own teaching, to the benefit of her Kindergarten students this year and her 3rd Grade students last year.
"As an educator, I have a passion for learning," said Leffew. "I think it is important to demonstrate to our students that even as teachers, we should never stop reading or learning new things."
Leffew shared that she selected a concentration in STEM because, for young students, foundations in STEM cultivate creativity in problem-solving and build collaborative skills that are essential in today's global job market.
"It's crucial to introduce these concepts at an early age," said Leffew. "STEM learning supports early math development and many other important skills."