With my grandmother, mother, and aunt all being teachers, I literally was raised within an educational environment and enthusiastically embraced my families passion for education from an early age. I have now been a professional educator for over 15 years and have supported the growth of the Reggio Emilia Approach nationally. Over the years I have learned that relationships are absolutely key to a successful education process, and that carefully listening and observing children helps build those authentic connections. I have also experienced first hand the importance of enabling student-driven learning experiences based on their individual needs and interests. Furthermore, I understand the power of documentation in the classroom as it fosters the practice of reflection with my students, colleagues, parents, and self. I consider myself to be a “life long” learner and believe in the integration of art and nature as core to a child’s learning experience.