Spotlight on Claire Cartmel
Last year in Madeworthy Magazine, published by Tanglewood Moms, one of our very own, Claire Cartmel, was named a Fort Worth Top Teacher.
As a teacher at the Jane Justin School at the Child Study Center, Claire understands the important role for our teachers. She shared, "It's not lost on me that their first experiences can shape the way they feel about learning and the classroom in the future."
With that observation fresh in her mind, it makes perfect sense that Claire gleans such satisfaction in those breakthroughs. "I most recently taught the youngest class (ages 3 to 8)," she said. "It may seem like such a simple thing but I truly loved introducing them to the ways of the class and learning how to go to school, which was so new and strange to them. Making them comfortable with that structure was so rewarding."
Claire witnessed the value of receiving such a strong and reliable school experience for children firsthand right out of college. With a degree in Youth Development from Texas A&M University, she began her career working at a group home with kids that exhibited aggressive behavior.
"Seeing those children struggling in all aspects of their lives was difficult because I just wanted to help them be successful in at least one area," she reflected. "Since school is a fairly stable and constant area that's where I focused my attention and help. I wanted to put them in a position to succeed there. Then that could be proof to them that they could overcome other barriers."
Knowing the Jane Justin School from others that worked there, Claire was drawn to the school's teaching philosophy and approach, which she shared. She knew it was the right move from 'that she went to school for.'
"At the Jane Justin, every lesson is individualized for the student. That's exactly my priority as well when it comes to education," Claire explained. "Learning is personal and varies from child-to-child. We should make our teaching be the variable and not their learning." While thriving and growth are inseparable goals for her classes, Claire's nearly six years at the Child Study Center have shown that her own growth has likely mirrored that of her students.
Claire said, "Dr. Tracie Mann, our headmaster, fosters an environment that encourages overall improvement not just for our students but for the staff too. And I'm proud to say that I've been able to grow so much here."
This new school year marked such a fresh path for Claire. As the new assistant principal of the school, she's needed to adjust to not having the day-to-day class interactions. "While not in the class daily now, I still look at my role as working hand-in-hand with the teachers and doing what I can to make them as successful as possible. Because that will lead to success for the kids."
Making the lives of these students better, just like making the lives of our patients better, is a textbook example of how together we can all proclaim #WeAreCookChildrens.