Ms Schafer Headshot.jpg

Hello fellow educators!

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but shortly after moved to the east coast into Loudoun County, Virginia. I am the oldest of six (two are dogs) and have loved working with kids my whole life! Currently, I am excited to be starting a 3rd grade position in the inaugural year of Hillsboro Charter Academy a tuition-free public charter school specializing in PBL (Problem and Project-Based Learning) and STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) focused curriculum. Check out our Charter Website here and our Hillsboro LCPS website here. I just completed a long-term substitute position in 3rd grade at Creightons Corner Elementary School in Ashburn, VA. It was a great experience at a 7 Habits leadership school, collaborating with staff members on PBL, field trips, and other professional development. Previously before that, I was teaching English in Malaysia on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) government grant for the year. I am working in a rural community in the conservative east coast state in Kelantan. My school consisted of 100% Muslim Malay students from varying socio-economic backgrounds. This gave me a unique opportunity to fully immerse myself into a community very different from mine. I was forced to use new teaching methods while blending the best practices I know to reach these students with low-levels of English proficiency. With this challenge, I learned the local dialect called "Kelate" that the students speak as well as conversational Bahasa Melayu, the official language, to translate in class, get around when travelling, and while visiting schools in other parts of Malaysia. I assist all English teachers at my school with weekly classes as well as leading sections of my own in all forms. In form 1 and 2 (ages 12-14) I focused on speaking skills through the Ministry of Education Malaysian curriculum using OPS. In form 3 (ages 14-15) I ran occasional after-school workshops practicing test-taking skills in creative and engaging ways for students to prepare for their end of the year standardized PT3 exam. In form 4 (ages 15-16) I focused on various language mastering skills such as reading skills, vocabulary, and literary analysis to deepen their understanding of English and think of their exam to come the following year during their final year of secondary school. Finally in form 5 (ages 16-17) I focused primarily on writing skills, as their essay exam scores seem to be particularly low in regards to form and grammar. In addition to participating in classroom pedagogy, I ran after-school co-curricular programs including drama, chorale speaking, and English clinics for additional cultural exchange and English acquisition focusing on activities related to American culture and language. As part of the program I planned several "camps" or interactive English projects for my students. My projects this year consisted of a cumulative environmental unit local beach clean up project, school-wide competition for a selective confidence-building talent show day, as well as a girls' empowerment workshop with guest speaker, and an additional US Embassy Grant funded program to build the English library at my school. I took students to the local city in our state to visit bookstores and pick appropriate books for their library, enjoy lunch, then go to a local university for a campus tour and talk about the importance of English in higher education life and beyond. Lastly, I co-planned a statewide vocational arts camp, partnering with young artists from various backgrounds to mentor and teach specific art forms to some disadvantaged students who show promise or interest in art to take on a new skill and present their work in a display to be shared publicly. We received extensive private funding, got a lot of news coverage since it was a first-time event, and involved the Royal family from my state in the programming for the students to have unique educational and vocational experiences outside of the classroom.

Before that, I was student teaching at Matoaka Elementary School in first grade. "Can't hide that Cardinal Pride!" Matoaka Elementary is a fairly upper middle class SES school and has a strong reputation for their quality of education in terms of teachers as well as environment. Matoaka Elementary runs K-5th grade and has a very strong sense of community. In the classroom where I was placed, there were very few students of minority however the ability levels are very diverse which makes the classroom a great opportunity for implementing a lot of differentiation. Many students were participating in school pull-out programs for speech or reading or both as well as counseling services such as Lunch Buddies or motor skill development. I was placed in a class with 19 students; 9 boys and 10 girls was the gender demographic break down of the class.

After I finished student teaching, I continued to substitute for the district dealing with varying levels of primary and secondary education students before going to manage an after-school social development program called Drama Kids until I left for Malaysia. During this experience I worked with very diverse students whose parents were looking for an additional resource to help their child's school performance and confidence to improve. During my time being there we focused more on primary student development as I lead and trained the staff as well as doubled the class offerings. I also attended the nationwide 2014 Drama Kids Conference in Dallas, TX with the other owners and business managers of the franchise. I taught my own classes as well as managed year-long planning, curriculum development and guidance, as well as marketing for the class offerings. This program furthered my interest in arts education, seeing the student growth both in social skill development and English language acquisition.

I graduated with an M. Ed. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Children's Literacy at The College of William and Mary in 2014. I received my B.A. in English and Theater in 2013 at The College as well and have been involved in a variety of activities during my educational career here.

My teaching philosophy as an educator deals with teaching literacy, career readiness skills, and socialization skills to children, beginning at a young age through engaging theatrical techniques which build academic as well as practical life skills such as develop leadership abilities, think creatively, build self-esteem, gain confidence, improve public speaking skills, teamwork, learn about diversity in theatrical arts, expose the value in childrens’ ideas, find their purpose in life, and build upon social skills to face whatever future problems they must endure.

Please use this introduction as a guide to get to know me personally a bit better and my pages to navigate through my pedagogical experiences as well as curriculum examples. Thank you for touring my eFolio page. Feel free to contact me with any further questions: