Ms. Yvonne McCort
Joined SRDS Community:  1988
Degrees:  B.A., Elem. Educ.,  Caldwell College; M.S., Educ. Technology, Long Island Univ.
Second Grade Teacher

What are some of your fondest memories from teaching at SRDS? 
What I love about teaching at SRDS has always been the strong sense of community between faculty, students, and families. One of my fondest memories was the end of the year Lower School picnic. The parents planned the picnic as a surprise each year. From the hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by the dads to the DJ to the relay race competitions orchestrated by the moms, faculty, students, and families had an amazing, fun-filled day full of surprises. Later in the day, dads would arrive with hundreds of photographs and “plaster” the upstairs hallway with them. The squeals of delight from the children filled the Lower School the next morning. It was a wonderful way to close out the school year! 

Why did you want to be a teacher? How has teaching changed/stayed the same over the years? 
From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher so that I could make a difference in the lives of my students. I was blessed to have had many amazing teachers growing up, and I wanted to be just like them! Not only were they my teachers, but they were also my role models and friends. One of the most important lessons that they taught me was that learning is, and must be, a lifelong pursuit. 
Over the past thirty years, new technology has continuously reinvented the teaching profession, and that has made my job different every day. Looking at the Lower School classrooms of today, one witnesses students using their iPads to learn to code, emailing work, and sharing documents on their devices. Teachers are providing interactive instruction using websites, virtual learning games, and videoconferencing. We must prepare our students to be productive, vital members of the global community. 

What do you love about teaching second grade? 
Over the course of my career, I have taught grades 1 thru 6. I must say that second grade is one of my favorites. 2nd-grade students love to learn and are excited to “jump right into” a new lesson. As a second grade teacher, I appreciate how independent my students are. They have a desire to be more independent, and they don’t mind showing you what they can do! Their minds are like sponges, absorbing any knowledge that is shared with them. It is such a joy to witness and share in their enthusiasm for learning. 

How does our Lower School curriculum and teaching at SRDS prepare students to be successful? 
The challenging, individualized Lower School curriculum prepares our students to be successful learners. We incorporate into our teaching the opportunity for students to learn critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation. Through our MindUp program, we teach students the skills and knowledge they need to regulate their stress and emotion, form positive relationships, and to act with kindness and compassion.