Bridging Cultures and Customs

Kat Gross

M.Ed. 2018

1st Grade Teacher, Metro,
Metro Nashville Public Schools

Peabody continues to influence my growth as an educator.

My school serves a diverse population of students from different linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. Every day, I work hard to provide all students a safe, challenging, and exciting learning environment. I help them build bridges from new learning to the wealth of knowledge, experiences, and curiosity they bring to school. Peabody gave me the critical understanding necessary to do this work: pedagogical strategies that reach a wide range of learners, an understanding of child development and needs, and the confidence to try new methods. Peabody continues to influence my growth as an educator. Participating in the Peabody RepTals science study has been particularly powerful. Not only have I gained new insight into phenomenon-based science instruction and the importance of student-led modeling, I’ve also delved deeper into supporting my English Learner students in science. Peabody is both a spark and source for my professional learning and curiosity.

Peabody/Vanderbilt is unique in that it immerses teacher candidates in a variety of school settings and does so from very early on. Deep study into educational research is perfectly balanced with practicum work in schools. In-depth conversations around teaching and learning (particularly following lessons given by candidates) help future teachers to not only reflect on the lessons they just delivered, but also to build the critical habit of continual self-reflection that I believe is essential for today’s teachers to succeed.

I would not be who I am, and where I am, today without Peabody. I teach with another Peabody graduate on my grade level team, and the Peabody Difference is unmistakable. I am forever grateful to Peabody.