Hi, my name is Rebecca Wolf. I am mom to two delightful daughters and one Siberian cat. My husband is a nurse practitioner and we’ve been happily married for many years.
Welcome to the Sibley Learning Center! When I started homeschooling my eldest daughter, I realized that it was more enjoyable for both of us when we invited friends over to play in our classroom. Not only are my lesson plans more focused, but we all benefit by learning from each other!
I believe that children’s development can be stimulated from a carefully prepared learning environment and access to a variety of real-life experiences and hands-on learning. As a result, our center is an eclectic mix of Montessori-style sensorial materials, early reader books, literacy and math manipulatives from my elementary teaching days, musical instruments, and lots of props for free play (dress-up box, waldorf dolls, a play stand, cash registers, a play kitchen, duplos, trains, a work bench and more).
I have over ten years of teaching experience from kindergarten through college. Before I became a stay at home mom many years ago, I worked as a Reading Recovery teacher and Reading Specialist in kindergarten and first-grade in Brockport, NY. Before that, I worked as a Reading Recovery teacher, Reading Teacher, and Gifted and Talented teacher in Prince George’s County, Maryland with inner city youth in a K-6 school. I have taught first-graders in rural South Carolina as well as Education majors at Clemson University and SUNY Brockport. I student-taught in elementary and middle school. My first teaching job was at an alternative Quaker boarding high school in New Hampshire that was run by consensus.
In addition to being a New York state certified elementary teacher and reading teacher, I have also received training in Reading Recovery, violin, conflict resolution, service learning, Native American studies (I am half Mohawk), and Spanish (not fluent YET but an avid learner). I love creating WordPress sites too (http://LocalWebGenius.com) but I do not feel it is necessary to teach preschoolers about computers. There are just too many other fun things to do at that age! I earned my first Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Houghton College, a B. Ed. from Brock University, and a M. Ed. in Reading from Clemson University.
But I feel like I didn’t truly understand what it meant to be a teacher until I became a parent! My children teach me patience, humility and joyfulness every day. I try to be a good student and listen well. Other schools may be able to post a code of conduct and explicit disciplinary actions, but I do not. I am currently exploring the concept of Unconditional Parenting, as described by Alfie Kohn and Non-Violent Communication, as created by Marshall Rosenberg. It has been challenging to break away from the carrot and stick approach to discipline, but far more effective to treat each other with love and respect.
As Maria Montessori said, “A child’s work is to create the person s/he will become.” I strive to be a good role model and guide children towards independence whenever possible. I enjoy sharing the diversity of my life experiences with children and watching them grow to their fullest potential.