Associate Teachers at Harbor Day School
The bell rings in the morning, marking the beginning of the school day. Students come into their classes eager to see familiar faces, one of which includes their associate teacher. The classroom associates are an integral part of the teaching team and the classroom community.
Each day, lower school associates support the lead teachers and facilitate learning in the classroom. Associates work with small groups or individually to provide students with extra support and enrichment opportunities. They guide reading and math groups, and conference with students during Writing Workshop. Associates also work with students during recess and lunch, allowing them to get to know each student individually on a social-emotional level. These are just a few examples of how lower school associates work with students during the day. Each associate also collaborates with their grade level team. They are familiar with the curriculum, planned activities, and routines so that they are ready to step in whenever necessary, and students never miss a beat.
This year in middle school, Barbara Sharkey is the associate teacher. She supports the fifth-grade lead teachers by working with small groups or individual students. Mrs. Sharkey also works weekly with Mrs. Ellis in science to assist the class and prepare for lab activities. She had 17 years of experience working with middle school students before coming to Harbor Day in 2020. Mrs. Sharkey is passionate about teaching mindfulness and social-emotional life skills. She leads weekly sixth and seventh-grade seminars centered around these skills.
In addition to Barbara Sharkey moving back to middle school this year, Harbor Day has welcomed five new associates to lower school. Jordan Hanna and Grace Barton are the new kindergarten associates, Stephanie Samudro and Bridget Nolan are the new first-grade associates, and Kelley Otis is the new shared fourth-grade associate teacher. Each new associate has been a great addition to their grade-level teams. Returning this year is Sierra Matheson in second grade and Jessica Escobar-Vu in third grade. They continue to be assets to their teaching teams.
The associate teachers at Harbor Day are all credentialed educators who care deeply about their students. We have such a wonderful group of associates that help support our students' academic and social growth.
_________ About the Author: Mrs. Escobar is currently a third grade associate teacher and associate teacher department chair. Mrs. Escobar graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with bachelor's degrees in education and sociology. She received her multiple-subject teaching credential, and master's in education from Concordia University, Irvine. Mrs. Escobar has taught a variety of grade levels in elementary schools and was a reading intervention teacher at Mariners Elementary before coming to Harbor Day School. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bike along the beach, traveling, and spending time with her family.