Reflections from BCD’s newest gems!

Berkshire Country Day School started the 2017-2018 school year on an upswing of positivity. We were delighted to welcome forty-one new students to our already vibrant community. We were equally enthused to welcome new members to our talented and dedicated faculty.

Like the new students and families, the new faculty members had lots to learn with regard to settling into their new home here on campus. Each of them worked diligently in an open-minded and caring manner to get to know the culture, the community and at getting down to the business of planning and delivering their areas of expertise to our children.

Recently, I took some time to connect with the new teachers, to ask them some questions about BCD now that they are one of us. Read their thoughts below:

Julia Kreilkamp, Beginner 2s Teacher

When someone asks you about your job, what do you say?

I say that BCD is an extremely friendly and supportive school community and that the families are a dream to work with. I feel so much more at home among this group of colleagues than I have at any other school where I’ve taught. I am among kindred spirits in terms of values, commitment, and sense of humor!  I also say that working with 2-year-olds is as interesting a challenge as I expected it to be.

What is something that surprised you as you settled in BCD over the past term?

At each of the faculty meetings, the content has been worthwhile, and the attitude of collaboration and respect has been consistently present.  I wouldn’t say this surprised me, but it has made a strong impression on me, as it provides a distinct contrast to my past experiences in public school faculty meetings.

What do you most look forward to when you come to work each day?

The surprises that come with hanging out with two-year-olds. Having the freedom to respond to the mood and interests of the children, to wander outside for long periods of time, or to have a spontaneous singing or dancing session. I also look forward to knowing that I will be greeted warmly by many people and that I am surrounded by many colleagues who seem to be completely happy to be here.

Mary Daire, French Teacher and BCD parent

What are some of your perceptions of the sense of community at BCD?

I’m blown away by the sense of community here at BCD and by the feeling of inclusiveness, support, and kindness. I say this from several vantage points; as a teacher, a colleague, and a parent.

Participating in my first ‘Thanksgiving Soup,” the revered and celebrated tradition at BCD, confirmed the present and enduring level of community at BCD. It was amazing to see so many alumni return and to see parents working hard in the kitchen to pull together a meal for the entire school.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

The Learning Commons. It is such a refreshing space to be in. The natural light is amazing, and the space just exudes a fresh and bright energy! The Distance Lab, the glass room within the Commons, is a close second. The students love to have class in there.

When someone asks you about your job, what do you say?

I say that I have my dream job: teaching the language that I love and sharing my passion for the language and a culture that I care so much about with students in my home county of the Berkshires!

Ashley Junod, Preschool Assistant Teacher and BCD parent

What are some of your perceptions of the sense of community at BCD?

For the last 2 years, I saw the community from a parent’s point of view. Now seeing it from the teachers’ side as well, it is even better. The involvement level of each and every teacher with each and every individual student is so amazing. I knew it was great when I was a “just” a parent who simply dropped my son off. But now being there each day, even just a few days a week, it’s so apparent how much these teachers appreciate what they do, and their freedom to teach the way they feel is best at this great school.

When someone asks you about your job, what do you say?

Three years ago when my husband and I decided to bring our son to BCD, we knew it was going to be one of the best things we ever did for him. Now that I have had the opportunity to be a part of the internal team of teachers, I know even more certainty that we were right. To be able to see firsthand different elements of my son’s day while I am on campus with him is so awesome.

Lia Russel-Self, Theatre Director and Development Associate

What are some of your perceptions of the sense of community at BCD?

BCD is focused on the wellness of each other. The entire community is focused on uplifting each other and supporting one another. The environment reminds me of a book a read as a child, It Takes a Village. Parents and students are attentive to each other, creating this loving extended family. The community of BCD is one that is open and supportive, both on campus and off.

What do you most look forward to when you come to work each day?

The creativity of my students. Every time I step into my classes, I feel as if they have become the teachers, introducing new concepts and perspectives that keep me on my toes. Whether it’s a new music-composing software or just an inspiring moment, the students are teaching me every single day.

What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

I am really excited about the collaboration among myself, other arts teachers, and the support of the school administration as we go into production for the winter performance. It’s been an all-school effort, and it’s such a rare commodity to work with such enthusiastic and inspiring educators and students.

Carli Imreh-Allgretta, Beginner 2s Assistant Teacher

What do you most look forward to when you come to work each day?

I look forward to the greetings I give to and receive from my colleagues on a daily basis. BCD has opened my eyes to how a school community should operate. Waves and smiles from across the courtyard and friendly hellos on the playground have begun to make my day.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?

My favorite place on campus is the playground! This is where children of all ages come to play and explore. Each day on the playground children emerge with excited faces ready for their next encounter. It is nice to witness the familiarity the students of various ages, including the B2s, have with students in others grade. On the playground, children are aware of their older peers who are looking to lend a helping hand and their younger peers who may need that same hand. This is where long-lasting friendships with their fellow Penguins are created.

What a pleasure it is to see these dedicated new community members in action each day. They bring a sense of joy coupled with professionalism to all that they do. We were so delighted to have welcomed them in August and to continue to witness their successful settling in to all things BCD. True gems!