Mrs. May joined St. Stephen School faculty as a student teacher, working with the second grade for several months in 2003 and as a Kindergarten substitute teacher mid year in 2004. She became a full time teacher for second grade beginning in the 2004-2005 academic year. Mrs. May now teaches Kindergarten. After school she runs the Holiday Club.
Mrs. May earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary/Inclusion Education from Niagara University. She also has certification in Elementary Ed. 1-6, Inclusion Education Pre-K-12. Mrs. May is also a graduate of St. Stephens!
Mrs. May has earned several grants for St. Stephens through the Tonawanda/Grand Island Teacher’s Center for Science centers activities, field trip to the Theater of Youth, books and CDs for the classroom library and listening center
Some thoughts from Mrs May:
In your opinion, what is special about St. Stephen School?
My younger brother is a special needs student. He entered into the special education system in Pre-K. At that time, my mom hired two tutors (who were special ed teachers) to help him at home. I loved to sit at the kitchen table during his tutoring sessions. Each teacher had a different style of teaching, but they each made learning fun. They were filled with ideas and enthusiasm. They were genuinely invested in helping my brother meet his full potential. When he became frustrated, they always had a way to help him work through it. Their love of teaching, combined with seeing the difference they made in my brother’s life was what inspired me to become a teacher.
Why did you want to become a teacher/administrator?
I feel that teaching children especially the younger children is very rewarding in that I am setting the stage for future success in the many years of learning that lie head. Young children are so excited and willing to take part in any educational experience and that makes it very rewarding as a teacher.
Do you have a specific goal to achieve through your teaching, a philosophy or desired outcome?
I believe that learning to read and write should be an enjoyable experience, where students become confident readers and writers. It is a process where we work together to practice strategies and develop good reading and writing habits. I believe that students are motivated to read and write when their interests and experiences are included.
It is important to read aloud to students on a regular basis. I like to share my favorite books, introduce them to my favorite authors, and show my enjoyment for reading. In turn, it provides them with an opportunity to do the same.
Students do not learn the same way. I strive to meet the diverse needs of my learners by differentiating instruction and providing them with a variety of learning experiences and activities. I assess and update my teaching practices, to meet their changing needs.
I believe that students should be challenged, at their level. I encourage students to put their best effort into their work, even when it seems difficult. I want students to try their best, without being afraid to make mistakes. I encourage students to keep a positive attitude when they make mistakes because these are opportunities to learn and grow.
What are you most proud of regarding your teaching experience at St. Stephens?
I am most proud of seeing my students succeed and take pride in what they have accomplished. Even successes that seem small mean a great deal to students, and I enjoy celebrating those moments with them.
Do your students often participate in certain contests or receive recognition?
My students participate in the the PBS Kids Go! Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, Holy Cross Family Ministries “Try Prayer, It Works” Poster Contest, “Be Aware of New York Agriculture” Poster and Writing Contest, and the Vocation Awareness Poster Contest.