A Shining Star Joins the Rumsey Family: Meet Amy Hannon, Our New Pre-K Program Teacher
As a school that has been expertly teaching young children since 1900, we are thrilled to add a dynamic Pre-K class into our already flourishing Lower School program. Enrollment for the first Pre-K class at Rumsey Hall School opened last fall and has been filling up quickly as we approach the start of the new school year.
The new Pre-K teacher will help launch the inaugural program and create a nurturing environment for young students to thrive; to that end, we are excited to announce the appointment of Amy Hannon to the position of Pre-K Teacher in the Rumsey Hall Lower School.
With over 25 years in education, Amy has worked as a lead Pre-K teacher, Preschool Program Director, Early Childhood Education Consultant, Head Start teacher, and camp director. A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Amy is certified by the state of CT as a Head Teacher, Early Childhood Director, and Early Childhood Consultant. Amy has helped four early childhood centers develop their curriculum, policies, procedures, and staff training programs.
We look forward to the creativity and energy Amy will bring to the Pre-K program and can’t wait to introduce her to the Rumsey community. In the meantime, here’s a preview of Amy’s warm personality and imaginative mindset from an interview we recently had with her.
Why do you work with Pre-K children?
“Working with Pre-K children is my passion—I love three to five year-olds. For a lot of them, it's their first experience with a community. For me, it’s a privilege to have that first school experience with them. They'll come in and be anxious about school; yet, they learn quickly to interact with each other and have fun. Guiding them from their transition from being only with family to a connected community member is fascinating.”
What appealed to you about teaching at Rumsey Hall?
“The small class size of the Rumsey Pre-K program is awesome—having a limited group of children will make for a more personal experience. I’m also very excited about the outdoor classroom opportunities! The Rumsey campus is full of natural life—life we can study and talk about together as a class.”
What is one of your foundations of teaching?
“Play-based learning will frame much of our curriculum. Learning through play is natural. Children are always learning through play. Children are active learners: they always want to experience what is happening, not just watch it happen. That’s why it’s crucial to have opportunities to play in the classroom. If a student is interested in a topic, we’ll dive deeper into that topic. Our day will be shaped with a well-rounded curriculum that offers unique and diverse topics to explore.”
How will you structure your class?
“It’s important to make time for students to investigate their interests. We work on their schedule—not ours. We don’t rush self-help skills; instead, we’ll adjust to their needs. As we give young students the time to feel empowered to master these skills, they become more confident and succeed in their own space and schedule.”
How will children learn about/feel a sense of belonging in your class?
“Children need community. We all do—we all want to feel part of something bigger. Children need to feel that a classroom is theirs …that they matter and they belong there. They need to know that what they say is important. They're safe. As an educator I want every student to have time to express themselves and a place to build friendships with others. Our classroom will be that space where students are encouraged to connect with themselves and with one another in a kind way.”
What inspires you about teaching Pre-K students?
“This age group never stops making me smile. They are always excited about new things—and at this age, everything IS new! I try to see the world through their eyes. I remind myself that many of the experiences they are having are first-time exposures to whatever senses they are utilizing. I love those moments: they are honest and openly express themselves. It’s refreshing.”
What keeps you busy when you’re not teaching?
“I’m a mom of three boys: watching my kids grow into fantastic adults has been so fulfilling. Recently, I added an addition to the family—a mini goldendoodle puppy named Ruby! I love to garden—basically, I love anything outdoors. I walk at the White Memorial every day. Any chance I get, I travel to NYC to take in a theater production.”
How are you feeling about your new adventure as the first Rumsey Hall Pre-K teacher?
“I'm so excited about this new opportunity. I’m really looking forward to teaching at Rumsey. I feel like it's the job of my dreams.”
The Rumsey Hall Pre-K program creates a dynamic balance of curiosity and connection. At Rumsey, it's our job—our passion— to cultivate the ideal community for three and four-year-olds to explore their budding imaginations and develop an appreciation for the importance of effort. We are now enrolling children who turn four before December 1, 2022. Visit www.rumseyhall.org/prek for more information.