Meet Your Teacher – Mrs. Healy

I have been a teacher at St. Rene for ten years.  My family lives just outside of Chicago.  My children are mostly grown, two boys in college and a daughter in high school.  I love music and play piano.  I also enjoy reading, cooking, and solving puzzles.  However, most of my free time is spent learning.  I enjoy watching Nova, the Science Channel, the History Channel, and even HGTV.

I attended DePaul University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  I then spent the next 20 years working at Mayer, Brown, a large law firm in the city as a project coordinator, data processing manager, and a network administrator among other things.  During this time I also became a 2nd grade CCD teacher for my parish.  This experience lead me to return to college, this time to St. Xavier University and I received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.  I immediately began teaching.

My enthusiasm for learning drives my philosophy of education.  I believe that children are naturally curious about the world and that is what helps to motivate them to learn.  In giving them some power over what they are learning I create an environment where they are excited to learn.  I also feel that the classroom environment is important.  My classroom has a very democratic feel to it.  The students are given a voice in much of what we do.  We talk about our schedule, discuss whether or not we have too much homework, and negotiate when we test and how we “show” learning.  We work together creating a community where everyone has a voice.

I also believe learning must be connected to something in order to be meaningful to my students.  This is based on Piaget’s philosophy.  Each of my trimesters is theme based and our learning is always connected to our theme – in every subject taught.  These connections help deepen and strengthen what is taught.  I also work with my students to help them gain a sense of how they learn and how their brain works to help them become better students.

There are many beautiful memories of my years at St. Rene.  I love seeing the excitement on my students’ faces when we participate in our St. Rene Feast play every year, and the Living Stations always make me cry.  I remember the mess of making clay pumpkins/bowls, and the excitement and enthusiasm of reading our many novels – especially George Washington’s Socks.  I look forward to our gallon man/woman project, the number tree, our Poet Tree, making solar cars, our yearly visits to Lake Katherine and especially the Remembrance Tree during November.  Every year is different and very special.