Friday Faces | Little Wonders - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes—always learning together.
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Friday Faces | Little Wonders

Welcome to another installment of our Friday Faces series! This week, we have our Little Wonders teachers, who are responsible for our preschool and kinder kids. Read on to meet them all!

Share a photo from your summer and describe why this is special to you…

Shelby: One of our newest students, Noor, showing off her super hero pose.

Michele: Family and relaxing walks on the beach is my happy place.

Danielle: We took a road trip to the southwest in April. This was our first time to the Grand Canyon as a family.

What did you recently read, and what did you take away from it?

Chelsea: I just read Circe, by Madeline Miller. I loved hearing all the tales of gods, goddesses, and mortals from a witch’s point of view. If only I could be exiled to an island with my garden and lions…

Karen: Not too long ago, I read the book American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It’s about a woman who, with her young son, leaves a comfortable life in Mexico for the United States as an undocumented immigrant. It brought up some new perspecttives I’d never considered before.

Michele: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett. Kindness and positivity leads to happiness and a colorful life.

Shelby: A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins. I’m actually still in the middle of the book. It is full of mystery with lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Victoria: Bibi, which is an autobiography of Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s so interesting to learn about his life and work, what keeps him motivated and focused.

Jill: The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell. I just picked this up and reread it and was reminded of how some stories can just take you away from all life’s worries. The writing is so rich with detail, I could picture myself in this story and wanted to be there, joining this sweet family on all their adventures.

Debbie: After reading a couple of books that guided me into some deep thinking and self reflection, I decided to change gears and opted for an easy read. The last book I read was The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks. My take away after reading this was that life happens to all of us. We all encounter challenging times as well as the good. When we keep trying to doing our best life finds away to reward us unexpectedly.

Danielle: I recently read Louise Penny’s novel Still Life. It’s a cozy mystery that feels comforting and thought-provoking at the same time. I’m currently reading Run, by Ann Patchett. I really enjoy all of her books. Under the surface of a good story, she tackles the big ideas of race, wealth and family. I’ve also recently read some of John Muir’s Wilderness Essays. His descriptions of the natural world make his adventures come to life and makes me want to go back to one of my favorite places—Yosemite!

What have been some highlights from this year so far, and what else are you looking forward to teaching or learning with your students this year?

Chelsea: My favorite book for trimester one was Mouse Paint. One of my favorite things to do with preschoolers is to explore colors! There is so much magic in their little faces when they learn what happens when you mix blue and yellow, or red and blue. Especially when you use your feet!

Karen: It’s always a privilege to see our children rise to the occasion. A case in point is a young child in our class who was asked to make sure that the two even younger classmates behind the child were keeping up. My words won’t adequately describe the way he would constantly be looking over his shoulder and beckoning with his arm in a successful effort to make sure his classmates were keeping up with the line. Since that day, the child has consistently kept an eye out for most of his fellow classmates. In the coming year, I am looking forward to watching (and joining right along with) our preschool children as they explore and get to know our beautiful new campus.

Michele: Watching students learn to handle a disappointing situation with calmness and solutions. I am looking forward to watching the friendship bond build and strengthen by expressing and learning from difficult feelings.

Shelby: This is my first year at SLOCA so just getting to know all of my sweet students. Now that I am settled in, I am looking forward to encouraging the social and emotional growth of all of the kids and also pushing them to always stay curious and to ask questions.

Victoria: Getting to know the students, teaching them to read.

Jill: It’s very rewarding seeing and experiencing students evolve from tearful and nervous, and not wanting to let go of mom or dad, to marching in the class with smiles and a big hug or waving goodbye to parents, ready to take on the day. Seeing them connect with new friends, immerse themselves in art, or dig in the sandbox warms my heart and their parents. I’m looking forward to the move across the street.

Debbie: Teaching our preschool kiddos is such a joy and fills my heart every day. Each day we see the students learn and grow. Their love of learning through play, activities, reading, and exploring the world around them is amazing to watch. I look forward to seeing what skills, interests, and accomplishments they’ll do next!

Danielle: Using the literature as a springboard for creative thinking and making has been a lot of fun! I’m looking forward to teaching the students how to read in the coming months. It’s pretty amazing to be a part of that process.

How long have you been at SLOCA, and what attracted you to our community?

Chelsea: I started at SLOCA in 2019 aiding Mrs. Buntz and Mrs. Weaver and also aiding in the infant room. I love SLOCA’s learn-as-you-play approach in the classroom, along with a literature based curriculum. Now, I have completely fallen in love with my coworkers and students and am enjoying the journey together.

Karen: Our family has been at SLOCA for 12 years. We came to SLOCA looking for an educational alternative for our son who was going into second grade at the time. The hybrid education has worked well for our family. Our youngest child, a daughter is in the 8th grade this year.

Michele: This is our sixth year here. We moved to the area for SLOCA’s life long learning alongside our children. The families of SLOCA keep us coming back every year.

Shelby: I started at the end of this summer. Previously I was working at a public school, but was drawn in by SLOCA’S philosophy to learn by playing for the younger students.

Victoria: Five years. Having my granddaughter, Macie, at SLOCA attracted me here, but the students keep me loving coming to work.

Jill: I’ve been at SLOCA in Little Wonders for 2 1/2 years. Connecting with children and feeling like I’m making a difference in their lives keeps me going.

Debbie: I have been with SLOCA for about 8 months. Not knowing too much about classical education and looking further into it, I was drawn in by SLOCA’s purpose and dedication to providing the students and families with an exceptional classical education experience. The togetherness feel of the community seems to grow as the school year goes on. Everyone is eager to help and support one another. There is a true sense of love and happiness that radiates across campus.

Danielle: Long story short, I taught kindergarten at SLOCA before I had my first daughter 12 years ago. I have come full circle and returned to teach kindergarten while my daughter joined as a primary student. What drew me in at first and continues to stand out to me is the joy of learning at SLOCA. It’s a special place. Teachers enjoy what they teach and students enjoy learning here. And I love good books! The literature and curriculum in kindergarten are magical and so fun!

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