My name is Laura Finkelstein and I am presently completing my Masters of Arts in Teaching Plus Special Education at Northeastern University. I will graduate from the program in June of 2012 and will have a license to teach elementary grades one through six. I will also have a license to teach children with moderate disabilities who are in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth. I completed my student teaching in a second grade classroom at the Beethoven School in Boston. I will also be completing the special education requirements for student teaching in a learning adaptive behavior (LAB) classroom at the Beethoven School. While this is the first time that I have ever worked in an elementary school environment, this is not my first experience in a classroom. I worked for three years teaching in a pre-kindergarten class in Newton Massachusetts. I have loved working in both suburban and urban settings. I have also enjoyed working in an inclusive educational setting. I look forward to working in a regular, inclusive or special education setting.
Growing up in Newton Massachusetts, I was fortunate to attend an excellent public school, Mason Rice Elementary School. However, upon completion of junior high school, I decided to move on to an alternative private school, the Cambridge School of Weston. I had an incredible, life changing experience in this smaller setting. My experience at the Cambridge School heavily influenced my decision when applying to colleges. Again, I was given the opportunity to attend an alternative school and in September of 1999 started my education at Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts. In college I studied both education and painting. My experience with alternative education has heavily influenced my own teaching style and philosophy.
The motto at Hampshire is “Non Satis Son Scire,” or “To know is not enough.” This in many ways summarizes my own stance in the classroom. I try to ensure that the children in my class have a deep understanding of the material that they are learning. I create assignments, lesson and unit plans that will accomplish this goal. While I think it is important for children to come away from school with a lot of knowledge, I think that it is equally important that they have a love for learning and a rich understanding of the subjects.
I love teaching. I also am still very connected to my art, or more specifically, painting. When I am not in the classroom, you can usually find me in my studio, painting. In my free time I also enjoy cooking and spending time with my with fiancé and my family. I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful support network. I also feel lucky to have found a profession that I love.