Helena Magazine

Schools Q&A: Katie Scruggs – Elementary teacher at The Hillsboro School

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Question 1: How long have you been teaching?

A: I have been teaching for seven years and starting my third year at The Hillsboro School this fall.

Question 2: What do you love most about teaching at Hillsboro?

A: What I love about Hillsboro is the freedom with learning. Our school is a Montessori school, so part of the philosophy allows the students freedom within limits. My students can work at a table or on the floor. They can decide what lessons they want to work on from the shelf. In our classroom, we have hands-on material that allows the students a concrete experience until they are able to work to abstraction.  They have a chance to experience things that most other students in a traditional classroom wouldn’t.

Question 3: What is your favorite part about teaching children?

A: My favorite part about teaching children is seeing the “Ah ha” moment. When a child finally gets a skill or figures out something for themselves is the best feeling for them and the teacher. A child will come into my classroom having limited reading experience and half way through the year they are reading small chapter books.

Question 4: What do you feel is the most important aspect of a child’s learning experience?

A: The most important aspect of a child’s learning experience would be learning to be independent. Here at The Hillsboro School, we equip the students with the hands-on materials that they will need to become independent learners. We encourage the students to decide what interests them and begin their own discoveries.

Question 5: What is one of your fondest memories teaching at Hillsboro?

A: One of my fondest memories about teaching at Hillsboro would be when we took a field trip to Peach Park this past Spring. The students were allowed to bring their own money and buy a couple of things that they wanted. They had learned in the classroom how to shop and count money. I was so proud that they were able to experience this in real life.

Question 6: In your opinion, what is the best approach to handling sensitive questions children may ask their parents or their teachers?

A: In my opinion, I think it’s best to answer questions honestly within limits. It is important to have good communication with the parents to decide on certain topics that can be discussed at school or at home.

Question 7: What do you love about teaching in Helena?

A: I love teaching in Helena because of the small town feel. Our school sits of 30 acres of land off the main road so we have our own space, but not far from town. Helena is a wonderful place to work!