Faculty Spotlight: Grade 3 Lead Teacher Jean Ricker

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Alumni Class Notes, Community, Lower School

In your 14 years of working here, what are some things that are new at Rashi and what are some things that are the same?

It is difficult for me to believe that I have just begun my fourteenth year at Rashi! I feel so lucky that my path in education led me to The Rashi School. I have given a lot of thought to this question, what things are new and what are things that are the same, and I found that the answer is intertwined. While our mission has always been and remains to be “life changing education; world changing students,” it is how we have proceeded forward to achieve our mission while staying current with the world that has changed. One way we have changed is the shift towards a collaborative teaching model. This method allows all students to learn from all of the teachers in the grade. It also allows them to mix and spend time with the entire community of children in the cohort. We are using a more discovery based and active learning approach. Our drive to change with the times in regard to cutting edge teaching practices is the same and we are achieving that with the creation of our new Kol-lab space. The Kol-lab is known as Rashi’s innovation lab. We now have a destination where students, alongside staff and mentors can create, solve and develop problem solving skills and mental rigor. Another change is the strong focus on social emotional well being. As a team, teachers and administrators have worked extensively so that students are equipped with the tools they need to excel in this ever changing world.


When you think of Rashi Alumni, what words or thoughts come to mind?

When I think of Rashi Alumni the words that come to mind are pride and excitement. I love seeing our alumni. Whether they are visiting Rashi or I run into them outside of school, it is always a pleasure to see them. Hearing the excitement in their voices about what they are accomplishing and their happiness is always the best feeling! They always make a connection back to their experience with me, or whomever was their teacher, with fondness and express how Rashi helped them grow. I often think about the students in my current class, and who they are at that moment, and how much change will take place in the coming years for them. Being able to see the whole picture of students at a very young formative age and their growth to adulthood authenticates all of the work that we as teachers put into the classroom. It makes me feel proud to be part of their process of growth.


What are some of your favorite things about being a Grade 3 Teacher at Rashi?

There are so many things that I love about being a Grade 3 teacher! One thing that I love is observing the growth of my students. They come into Grade 3 with the mindset and knowledge of a second grader. While they are still young and are independent learners, I have the opportunity to help shape the minds of students and encourage them to be kind, thoughtful and curious. It allows me to make a positive difference in their life long learning process. Watching their curiosity grow and seeing their growth as learners is priceless. By the end of third grade they have matured in their academics, their social skills and their personal confidence in themselves.