Claudia Pompa walks into her classroom with the hopes of learning something new from her students, which according to her are 22 additional teachers present each day.
“On the first day of school, I told my students that I’m not the only teacher in this room,” said Pompa. “We teach them, and they teach us.”
Pompa is a second year kindergarten teacher at Dishman Elementary School, and from the start to the end of the school year, her goal is to teach her students how to be leaders and innovators.
“I want them to think outside the box,” said Pompa. “One of our goals is to learn how to read. I encourage them to make up their own story as they pick up their reading skills to help build their imagination.”
Providing her own leadership to the campus, served as the school’s first chess sponsor and worked with administration to help the program grow. She became an advocate for the program after seeing the benefits it can provide students, she said. Her Saturdays may be fuller, but it’s worth it to her when her fellow teachers share with her that their students have made vast improvements since beginning their participation in the chess program.
Last school year; she was also recognized by Lowes for her efforts to help build an outdoor classroom for the students at Dishman. She, along with the assistance of other teachers, put together a presentation that earned them a $5,000 grant for the construction of the learning facility.
Excited for the prospect to learn in a new environment, the school is looking forward to begin construction sometime in the near future, she said. Once complete, she hopes to be involved in plans to invite the community out to experience what they are calling the Dishman Dynamo Learning Center.
The incorporation of new learning environments continues as she embarks on her first year as a digital classroom teacher. She blends technology into the lesson as the class participates in developing their motor, reading and writing skills. The technology took her some time to adjust to, but for her students they are already professionals when it comes to understanding how to use the devices, she said.
When not in her classroom, you can find her on the computer looking for new ways for her students to learn, and with her mind always focused on their success, the only direction for her classroom to go is forward, she said.