Second and Third Grade Teacher
In the summer of 2014, Robin and her family packed up all of their belongings and moved to North Carolina in search of a more natural life.
Robin received her undergraduate degree from the University of Akron in Early Childhood Education, which included Pre-K through 3rd grade age students. After teaching for a few years, she took time off to be with her two daughters, Bella and Julia. While Robin was home with her two daughters, she finished her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on reading. When both of her children entered school, Robin returned to the classroom as a founding teacher for a new charter school in Los Angeles.
In Robin’s class, students become authors using the Writer’s Workshop method and are given freedom of choice using the Daily Five program. This program allows students to choose when and where they read, write, and study phonics each day, while helping them to develop self-awareness and inner regulation and is in keeping with the Essential Learning Skills and the Integral Process of Research and Reflection.
For Robin, the most exciting part of teaching at Odyssey is the way that students integrate their subject studies within broader thematic investigations. The class will do a unit on the Cherokee Nation, a unit on the French Broad River, incorporating the principals of water and history of Asheville, as well as a unit on business and industry, focusing on a local business in Asheville, broadening our learning community to far beyond the classroom walls on Zillicoa Street. Integrating the needs and wonders of our community and the individual learner is what Odyssey is all about!
4th and 5th Grade Teacher
Cat knew when she was four years old that she wanted to be a teacher. After receiving her B.A. in Outdoor Leadership from Warren Wilson College, she traveled the country and worked as a field teacher, naturalist, and program coordinator at outdoor centers and camps in Texas, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Her favorite moments during that time happened when she got to be present with children as they connected with big ideas about ecosystems and deepened their relationships with the natural world.
After so many years of working seasonal jobs, Cat felt ready to make the transition into the classroom where she could develop richer, more meaningful long-term relationships with her students. She went back to school and got her M.Ed. in Elementary Education, focusing on Integrated Learning and Environmental Education, from Antioch University New England. Upon graduating, she immediately came home to Asheville and took a position teaching third grade at Evergreen, where she taught for three years. Cat is thrilled to be making the transition to Odyssey and feels inspired by the collaborative learning community here.
Coming from a family of English professors and writers, Cat has been a bookworm all her life and always says if she wasn’t a teacher, she’d be a librarian. Literacy and literature are important parts of her life, both personally and professionally, and she finds great joy both in reading to children and helping them cultivate their own relationship with language, literature, and the printed word.
When she’s not teaching or curled up with her nose in a book, Cat can be found working in her garden, knitting, trail running, mountain biking, singing with the Wild Asheville Community Chorus, or playing with her sweet 6-year-old rescue dog, Jenny.