Degrees and Certifications:
Ms. Jill Riggs
I have had the pleasure of teaching at Swansboro Elementary for the past 22 years and look forward to many more years here! During my time here, I have taught first grade, second grade and am currently teaching third grade. I wouldn't trade teaching at Swansboro Elementary for any other school!
My personal philosophy of teaching is best summarized by this statement of Anatole France: "The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds." My philosophy of education is a student-centered one. I strongly relate to the saying of serving as the "guide on the side", rather than the "sage on the stage". I believe in focusing on individual needs, and involving students in the process of their learning. It is my belief that individual differences need to be recognized, respected, and even celebrated. I believe that all students have strengths, and that it is the goal of education to assist students in identifying and building upon these.
I believe that students learn best through real-world experiences which are meaningful to them. Real world experiences are excellent problem solving opportunities that should be encouraged and utilized in the learning process. Learning should go beyond the four walls of the classroom and the required curriculum. Students should be given opportunities to relate their learning and critical thinking skills to social challenges and problems outside of the classroom walls. Not only do students have the potential to make a difference within our society, they can grow as individuals in the process. This approach has the benefits of empowering students and building their self esteem and problem solving skills.
My personal experiences contribute to my philosophy today in that the most meaningful learning takes place when students are motivated and interested. It is my belief that the way to achieve this is by giving students a voice in the learning process, and by assisting them in finding connections in the curriculum with their own life and interests. By allowing students to bring their own stories, experiences, and ideas into the classroom, this provides the students with opportunities to work together, to learn from each other, and respect each others' differences.
When students are allowed to collaborate with others, it instills a powerful sense of self-awareness of their importance in the classroom. This helps build a strong sense of community in the classroom where each child is seen and respected as a valuable member and resource to the classroom. Within in my own classroom, I know that a large part of my students' success and growth is due to support and encouragement that they receive from their peers. The atmosphere of love, respect and citizenship created by students in our classroom can be seen and felt by others who enter our room
University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Spring 2005- June 2007. Master's Degree in Elementary Education.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Fall 1998- May 2000. Certification in Elementary Education K-6
North Carolina State University, Fall 1985- May 1990. Bachelor of Science in Applied Sociology with a Criminal Justice concentration