Teacher Feature: Emily Merritt
October 09, 2019
Emily Merritt '15
B.S., Messiah College
In the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some teachers who have joined our faculty in the last two years – and finding out about their perspectives on CHS.
Classes taught now and in the past:
I am a first-year Kindergarten teacher; however, in college, I spent a year and a half as a student teacher in 4th grade.
What do you love most about CHS?
I absolutely love the community at Christian Heritage. Transitioning into this position has been interesting since I am a young alumna of the school; however, the staff have treated me with so much kindness and respect in my new role. The comradery between staff members is priceless. In other schools, I have seen a more individualistic and competitive atmosphere among the teachers. However, here, I have felt nothing but support and encouragement.
What one word would you use to describe CHS?
Christ-centered. In every challenge and excitement we have faced thus far, I have seen how the staff's knee-jerk reaction is to praise God or ask him for guidance. Coming from student teaching experiences that were all in public schools, I can feel the hope and kindness of the Lord at Christian Heritage in such a tangible and encouraging way!
How are faith and learning integrated at CHS?
Both Bible class and chapel allow the students to experience God's goodness and grace in community. As a Kindergarten teacher, I have loved teaching my students Christ-like social skills and how they apply to everyday life and learning. Just like in our relationship with Christ, I hope to model a grace-based teaching approach through restoring broken relationships, giving ample chances for redemption, and using positive reinforcement! I believe that the Growth Mindset philosophy easily intertwines with a grace-based approach. The Growth Mindset philosophy helps students develop a positive identity as a learner. However, as Christians, we can take it a step further and encourage students to develop their identity as a treasured child of Christ. Through educational learning, we model for students how to develop academically through deepening their identity spiritually. The administration carefully selects curriculum that allows space for deepening students' faith while deepening students' academic intelligence.
What is a unique experience, talent or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?
In high school, I participated in several plays and musicals. Through those experiences, I was able to learn how to engage, read, and captivate an audience. I am able to use music and drama in order to maintain engagement in lessons. In college, I minored in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) which has equipped me to have specific insights involving achievement gaps for students who speak different languages at home. These methods and strategies taught to me in college have also been proven to be effective with all proficiency leveled learners.
How would you describe CHS students?
The students at Christian Heritage School are eager to grow both academically and spiritually. They represent the kindness of Christ in their interactions with others. My Kindergarten students have consistently persevered through the many learning curves of adapting to school with grace and peace!