Simmy Wolfe

How long have you taught with Reach for Excellence?

I have taught sixth grade with Reach For Excellence since 2016.

What do you teach?

I teach 6th grade Social Studies with RFE and love it!

Where did you go to school?

Most recently, I studied at Georgia State University and received a post-graduate certificate in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. I have also received education degrees from the College of St. Rose (Albany, NY) and the State University of New York at Oswego.

How would you describe yourself in middle school?

As a middle school student, I was shy and did not love school. But I tried hard. This is another reason why I enjoy working with Reach students. They are so engaged, passionate, and involved in their school learning communities. The Reach scholars come across as genuinely loving school and learning.  Reach scholars’ quest for continuous learning and development is awesome to experience from the teacher side.

What was your favorite book, music, or movie when you were in middle school?

My favorite book while in middle school was Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The emotion, relationships and loyalty combined with framing a historical world view from the fictional perspective of a Jewish 10-year old girl, touched me. While fiction, the historical fiction genre of writing helped me process and my understanding of the historical impact of the Nazi regime.

Why did you choose to teach with Reach for Excellence?

I was a traditional classroom teacher for many years and was stepping away from this role and into adult learning when the opportunity happened. I was only too excited to work with scholars who CHOOSE to attend school over the weekend. Reach scholars are hands down – collectively – and year after year – the most inspirational cohorts of learners I have the honor to work with.

Tell us about your teaching philosophy…

Teaching and learning are interconnected. My teaching philosophy is that we learn best when we care and can make connections and apply our learning. My goal as a teacher is to foster a thirst for lifelong learning, inquiry, and empowerment.

What is your favorite aspect of teaching Middle School students?

My favorite aspect of teaching Middle School students is getting to have a refreshed vision of future inspiration and goals. I value the local community, global outlook, and curiosities that middle school students bring. I also enjoy middle school humor (most of the time).

What is your favorite Reach for Excellence memory?

My favorite Reach memory is newly formed every year – the first day of Reach for 6th graders. I am always inspired by their awe as we tour the Marist campus, their commitment to the next three years of additional enrichment learning, and their communications in developing familiarity with new teachers, a new place, and new people.