Teacher Q&A

Joanna.jpgIn this new series, we sit down with our teachers and ask them about their experiences teaching at
BASIS Independent Fremont, what motivates them, and some other fun questions. Today we talk with Ms. Joanna Wagner, our 3rd grade Learning Expert Teacher.


What do you enjoy the most about teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont?

There are many reasons why I enjoy teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont, but the greatest reason is the freedom that I have as a teacher. As a teacher at BASIS Independent Fremont, I am given the encouragement, space and resources to be the best educator that I can be. I am able to incorporate my own style, interests and talents into my daily teaching which has not always been the case in the past.

What do you hope students take away from your classes? 

My hope for my students is that they not only grow academically, but as people as well. I don’t want to only teach academics, but also life skills that will make an impact on my students for years to come.

Can you think of a memorable anecdote from teaching at BASIS Independent Fremont?

Definitely! What comes to mind first was when my students completed and presented their Pumpkin Book Reports that we completed in READ Class. We had been working on this particular project for over a month and the excitement was growing by the day. The students turned in their completed project and presented their report along with their character pumpkin creations on Halloween. I will never forget the looks of accomplishment, excitement and wonder on their faces as they quietly listened to their classmates and asked various questions about how the character pumpkin was created.

What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching?

Outside of teaching, I enjoy staying social and active. Although I am a Bay Area native, I still enjoy playing tourist and like taking in all the wonderful features that our surroundings have to offer. I also like dining out, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Can you share some of your accomplishments or awards? 

I have won a few awards for my swimming abilities both as a child and throughout my high school career. I was also part of the water polo team all four years of high school. Prior to my career as an elementary school teacher, I was a preschool teacher. During my career, I taught a social-emotional course to the children called Kimochis. I taught a Kimochis lesson once a week to all of the classes with children ranging from 2- 5 years of age.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

I was motivated to become a teacher for several reasons. First, I have always wanted to work with children in some capacity. Every single job that I have ever had has involved working with children. Another motivator is my own experience with teachers in elementary school, both positive and negative. As a child, I had some very positive and motivating teachers whom I aspired to be like. On the other hand, I also had a few teachers who did not make a positive impact on my education and I will forever strive to not repeat those types of experiences for my students.

Do you have a favorite author, quote, or artist?

My two favorite authors are Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl.

What are some of your favorite all-time books?

My favorite books are Hatchett, Eloise, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Ramona the Pest and Madeline.

Is there someone who you consider to be an inspiration? If so, who are they and why are they an inspiration to you?

I would say that my dad is an inspiration to me. My dad is my biggest supporter and has always been there for me in numerous ways. He has taught me that hard work pays off and I have been shown this by his example since day 1.