We are overjoyed to introduce the Learning Expert Teacher (LET) for our grade 2 students, Ms. Rebecca Cauthorn! Primary students will have a different Subject Expert Teacher (SET) for each course much like in the Middle School Program; however, in grade 2, students will travel as a cohort throughout the day accompanied by their LET. The LET is an expert in taking a pedagogical approach to learning, and they are responsible for determining how content is best delivered to students to ensure that the lessons are appropriate while providing as much support as needed.
We hope you enjoy the following Q&A session where we learn more about Ms. Cauthorn!
What excites you about being a founding teacher at a BASIS Independent School?
I am excited to join BASIS Independent Bellevue because of the style of education that is offered! The co-teaching model offered in the Primary Program with two teachers—the SET and the LET—is a brilliant way to ensure all student needs are being met within each discipline. I also look forward to joining the founding year because it will be exciting to watch the school, students, and faculty progress and grow with one another over the years and have our community and culture take shape.
Please share a little more about your background so our families can get better acquainted with you.
I am originally from the Seattle area and moved to the Midwest for several years where I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a double major in Elementary Education and Theater Arts. I completed my student teaching in the Chicagoland area instructing a grade 4 class and have experience with upper elementary grades for field placements. I then returned to the Pacific Northwest, and I have been serving as a grade 2 teacher at Bellevue Children’s Academy. I also have experience tutoring students from kindergarten to grade 6.
One of the things I like most about teaching grade 2 students is watching their personalities develop. I have so much fun helping my students grow into who they want to be and role modeling what it is like to be a good, caring, and supportive individual.
In grades 2–4, there will be two teachers within every classroom: the LET and SET. What excites you about this model and how do you plan to partner with each Subject Expert Teacher?
I love this model! It makes a lot of sense to have one teacher who gets to know each student and who is focused on understanding their individual learning styles and what motivates them, while the other teacher can focus on being the expert in one specific subject. It is a brilliant way to plan and deliver high-quality lessons that can be differentiated and accessible to all students. With two highly qualified teachers within one classroom, it is inevitable that the level of teaching will be richer, deeper, and facilitate more intentional learning. This model will also be instrumental in personal growth as a LET because it allows me to creatively collaborate with other SETs and my LET colleagues. Anytime I can sit down and talk about lessons with another educator we both walk away with better ideas to implement higher quality instruction.
What skills will you focus on building?
The three main skills I will focus on developing are respect, communication, and autonomy. I want to focus on these higher-level emotional skills so that students can clearly and respectfully communicate with peers and adults as well as learn the importance of self-advocacy. When students have this skill set, they are better able to rise to the challenges and rigor of the BASIS Curriculum and beyond. Further, these skills will be advantageous to them throughout their life in all areas.
What is your goal for each student?
In a nutshell, I would love all my grade 2 students to walk into grade 3 as confident and curious learners who are excited to continue their academic pursuits and have a passion to learn.
How do you plan to support Social-Emotional Learning?
I plan to implement lessons on collaboration, conflict resolution, and bonding time to focus on social-emotional growth. I will integrate social-emotional learning into daily lessons, one-on-one interactions, and as a whole class. I will be checking in with students and seeing where they are each day to help provide them a better learning experience.
How do you plan to partner with parents to support students?
I am a regular emailer with parents! I not only send updates about things a student may be struggling with, but make sure to email them about things that are going well too. I am intentional and transparent with parents about what is happening within the classroom. Parents can be our biggest supporters as educators, and I value their input. I want to establish a positive relationship with parents that allows us to link arms so that together we can set their student up for success. We both have a common goal of helping their student be the best that they can be.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I am not teaching, I enjoy hiking, dancing, and spending time with my family. One of my favorite hikes is Mount Defiance!
BASIS Independent Bellevue is a private school opening fall 2022. We will open with Grades 2 - 7 to start and add a grade level each school year as we expand to a full middle and high school (Grades 5 - 12).
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