Ms. Martens is in her first year of teaching sixth-grade social studies at Moravian Academy. Ms. Martens previously taught at Friends Academy in New York.
Let’s get to know Ms. Martens…
Why did you choose education/teaching as your profession?
My sixth-grade social studies teacher dedicated her time and energy to fostering my interest and curiosity in history. She encouraged me to break out of my shell and transform from the quietest student in the class to the most energetic and passionate of learners. Although I was only beginning my journey toward my profession, this particular teacher will always serve as my ideal role model. She believed in me and pushed me to take risks. She empowered me while still challenging me to strive to become the best version of myself. I knew from then on that I wanted to instill the same curiosity and excitement I felt as a youth for my future students. To this day, I strive to reach students based on the nurturing environment she had created for my classmates and me.
Why middle school?
I love teaching middle school for a number of reasons. I love how genuinely excited middlers are to learn about the world around them. As a passionate and energetic person, I love fueling their excitement and harnessing their bundles of energy for learning! While middle school is a tough time for most children, it’s also a time of great opportunity! Middlers are developing their identities and in turn, need guidance with developing good character and skills that will shape their future careers and endeavors.
What is your favorite moment/event at Moravian Academy during the school year?
So far it would be the Halloween dance. It was wonderful seeing so many students come up with so many creative and entertaining costumes! Getting to dress up as my favorite Star Wars character and dance to some of my favorite cheesy songs with my coworkers and 6th graders is definitely a memory I will always look back on and cherish! It’s just one of the many ways Moravian Academy creates a close-knit community and family that I’m incredibly proud to be a member of!
What do you hope to provide to students in your classes and what do you hope they take away?
I seek to understand each student where they are developmentally and to make every effort to facilitate a challenging and loving learning environment for each of them. My goal is to leave my students with a better way to navigate their futures by learning from the past. With the retelling of our past, they will have a clearer vision for a better tomorrow. There is nothing more rewarding than the feeling of having a positive impact on another individual.
What Moravian Academy tradition do you enjoy most?
I sincerely look forward to attending chapel every Wednesday. Being in such a sacred place and having the opportunity to see our students learn meaningful lessons from various guests speakers and members of the school community has been one of the highlights of each week for me!
What is a classroom activity unique to you?
This year I experimented and had great success with Escape Rooms and Breakout EDU, typically at the end of each unit. These games transfer the ownership to the student, making it easier for me to observe how each learner approaches problem-solving and applying their knowledge. In addition to the content knowledge needed to succeed in each individual game, all require critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. These games also provide learners with many opportunities to fail forward. Every unsuccessful attempt to open a lock or break a code requires the player to try again and persevere.
What’s something we don’t know about you?
I traveled abroad during my undergrad at Marist College to the Dominican Republic with a dozen Computer Science majors and several Spanish majors. During our two-week spring attachment, we were responsible for designing and delivering an interdisciplinary curriculum on computer science and technology for students in their native Spanish. After spending every morning helping middle and high school students construct a website for their school, the students wanted to teach us some of the native dances. As a dual minor in Spanish and Latin American Caribbean Studies, it was a life-changing opportunity to visit one of the many countries I had learned about and immerse myself in the culture and the local community.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ve always loved to sing since I was in elementary school, which is why I’m so glad that I found out about and joined the Lehigh Valley Chorale group. I also enjoy swimming both competitively and for recreation, which is why I used to teach lessons and coach the JCC swim team back on Long Island. I also love to go to the beach and/or go sailing. I find it so calming and peaceful which is why they’re two of my favorite things to do in the summertime!