White Spotlight for October- Cathleen Gerkhardt
When I was ten years old, my mother had her fourth child. That child, my brother Kevin, inspired me to become a teacher. His love of nature and wonderful sense of humor continues to inspire and challenge me to think outside the box. His willingness to pay it forward grounds me and reminds me to keep things simple.
After graduating from college, I moved to Washington DC. Living in a large city for the first time was life altering, and it also had a profound effect on my teaching. During that time, I attended the Washington Montessori Institute because I saw the value in learning how to create child-centered experiences for self-discovery within the classroom. The principles of Montessori instruction shape my teaching philosophy and my teaching style still.
If you were to ask me, “What did you do last weekend?” My response would almost begin, “Well, Friday night in Blairstown for me usually involves a trip to the Warren County Library.” I search the shelves for books to share with my favorite people, my students. The thrill of watching young children connect with literature and request more of it inspires me to keep searching for new titles and drives me to go back each week.
When I have free time, I enjoy spending it with my husband and family. My dad and I love to frequent antique stores in search of items to repurpose or to restore for use in my home. Together we have transformed old furniture, leaded glass doors, and vintage wallpaper, among other things, into lasting memories. I love having a small piece of my dad living in the projects he has helped me create.
My dog, Riley, is a furry yellow lab. He keeps me busy with long walks and constant vacuuming! The best part of every day is when I pull into my driveway and see his nose squished up against the glass door, his tail wagging, his fur flying. I like to think this is the best part of his day, too!
Thank you for giving me this chance to share the White Spotlight.