Meet Sara Croucher - PYP Coordinator
Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Sara Croucher has travelled the world teaching in IB World
Schools. A true global citizen, Sara has taught in Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Azerbaijan. Sara has been with the School since its start-up in 2012 as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator and has been a leader in the build of the PYP at Dwight.
Sara believes that each of us play a role in helping the school achieve its mission, and that by collaborating with integrity, each student, teacher, parent and staff member can realize individual success and contribute to our achievement of organizational goals. Sara has a firm belief that schools must appreciate students as individuals in order to effectively engage and challenge them.
We sat down with Sara to discuss everything from the PYP at Dwight School Seoul, Ms. Crouchers’ most memorable experiences at Dwight to her favourite part of the day!
How is the PYP different at Dwight compared to other international schools?
The Primary Years Programme is implemented in such a way as to honor and respect each child as a competent learner. We work in partnership with our families to identify children's strengths and goals. We implement the PYP in a personalized way for each child. We see impressive growth as a result of cooperation with families.
Describe a memorable moment from your teaching career at Dwight and how that has had an impact on you?
Some of our Grade 4 students took action as a result of their learning by starting a company; selling plants to help the environment and raise funds for a greenhouse. They ran a plant booth at our International Spring Fair in 2016. When I asked one student how it was going, he told me it was successful because many people were coming to their booth. He also said there was room for improvement because not everyone is buying plants, but maybe it would take them a while to understand the problem and take action themselves. That kind of reflection and critical thinking in young children sets the stage for life-long learning.
The most rewarding moments are when children realize their own capacity for learning and growth. They own their learning and they understand that they are capable of growing. They are empowered to continue trying, risking, innovating, asking questions, inquiring...Student agency is a powerful tool - a wonderful gift we can give our children.
What has been some outstanding PYP projects you have seen throughout your time at Dwight?
Outdoor Learning is a fabulously successful programme at Dwight. This programme is organized, inquiry-based learning that takes place in the outdoors. I have witnessed, through this programme, so many benefits for students, such as improved physical, social and emotional well-being, increased rate of language acquisition, greater independence and confidence, and more effective problem-solving skills.
Another has been the addition of the Dwight Makerspace to our campus. This space is where students fail, successfully. What I mean is, they have ideas and visions of how to solve a problem or improve something. They design, plan and build. All through this design process they reflect on what will and won't work. They explore possibilities and, having learnt from their missteps, they try again and succeed. It is an inspiring place where visions become reality through a process that develops thinking skills and builds resilience.
What is your favorite part of your day?
My favorite part of the day is the morning! I have the pleasure of standing in the hallway to greet all of the PYP students! I see how happy they are to be coming to school. They share their ideas and worries with me. We connect. Each student is recognized, welcomed, and valued. We have a warm and wonderful community here at Dwight!
To hear more from our community, visit our testimonial page.