Nga Down is a Gifted Teacher at Parsons Elementary.
Congratulations Ms. Down for being selected as the 2023-2024 PES Teacher of the Year!
"As a veteran teacher my philosophy has evolved throughout the years. One thing that sticks with me is “Today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders.” This motto has held true for me since the start of my teaching career. I make sure that all students are held to the four Cs of Education: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. I believe these 4 Cs stretch our learners into leaders.
One of the most important things I do every year is foster a student-centered classroom. Students need to feel that they are valued and important. We model and practice respectable ways to communicate with one another and celebrate one another’s strengths. This cohesiveness creates a culture of trust. Trust encourages students to take risks and collaborate in ways that unleash their full creativity. This process allows students to become responsible and equal partners in their learning.
Once students realize this concept, true reward is reaped when students realize that their power of creativity explodes when multiple minds collaborate and create due to strong communication skills. These moments are when I realize that we have strong student leaders in our community. They are going to make a difference in our world."
My experience has been that creativity begins to flow once students feel heard and safe. The more they work together, students begin to realize that true momentum begins when they are working together. They begin to naturally build one another up, and they start showing deep respect for one another through their actions and words. This culture of respect allows a feeling of belongingness to expand. Critical thinking evolves when students are given daily opportunities to communicate, collaborate, and create in a place where they have an important and respected role."