A year in the life of a teacher is not a year in which everything goes perfectly or according to plan, but a year with Dr. Maryann Aaron – who leaves the Lower School at the end of the year – is one in which every teaching moment resonates with students, sticks with them, and matters. It is a year of thoughtful, extremely well-prepared, joyous instruction. Embodying the spirit of our mission statement which describes a commitment to constant growth, Dr. Aaron stimulates and sustains keenly intelligent conversations amongst students and teachers alike and helps us continually strive towards excellence.
Dr. Aaron has worked alongside countless Lower School readers and writers. Watching her work, we are reminded of the power of the printed word and the magical pull that literature and language can have on a growing mind. Sitting alongside students to help develop their skills and understandings, she shows us the influence a teacher has, an influence that can ripple out across years and lives. As one of her fourth-grade students says, “She never gets frustrated when you don’t understand; she walks through it with you until you actually really understand it. It was easy for me to learn with her and working with her made me feel more confident.” Another student simply and elegantly states, “She just really knows how to help you.”
Dr. Aaron is a model for teaching excellence, and every professional conversation is grounded in years of research and experience. Capturing her influence on the Lower School is not easy as it permeates so many different aspects of our school, but her contributions include the following: coaching teachers as they strive to meet the needs of all learners; fine tuning assessments to hone in on what readers and writers can do, and identify what they are ready to do next; and representing the best and most current understandings of literacy instruction and the absolute highest standards for teaching. Dr. Aaron has pushed us to think deeply and critically about our instruction through professional conversations that have spanned grades. The robust literacy curriculum and instruction in our school reflect her vision, work ethic, and commitment to the best possible practice.
We thank Dr. Aaron for all she has done. Her influence will be lasting, and it is with heartfelt appreciation that we wish her the best.