Lead Kindergarten Teacher
Annie Cooley recently graduated from UW-Milwaukee in the Fall of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in English as a Second Language. She has enjoyed working at Prairie Hill for the past three summers for the Summer Garden Program, as well as during the springtime as the Willow Tree Kindergarten Assistant. Annie began her journey with Prairie Hill back when she was three years old - attending Wonder Garden. She later graduated from 8th grade in 2012 and has since been drawn back into the beauty of Waldorf education.
She believes that allowing students to explore their curiosity and imagination in the natural world is crucial to healthy childhood development, and is there to ensure they have the tools to do so. Annie strongly takes into consideration the whole child and teaches with a purpose based on the needs of her classroom.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world”
– Albert Einstein
In early childhood, young children are nurtured in a home-like environment. Their days include time in nature, artistic activities, creative play with natural toys, stories, songs, and practical activities such as building, sewing and cooking. The curriculum fosters the curiosity and joy of childhood and builds the self confidence and pre-academic skills that become the foundation for formal learning in the grades.
All elements of the kindergarten are guided by trained teachers who deeply understand how your child learns – engaging him or her intellectually, emotionally and physically. The curriculum is supported by a strong oral tradition that provides rich language experiences that are successful in cultivating good speech and expression. This approach exposes your child to significantly larger vocabularies than those found in early-reader programs, allowing her or him to expand their literacy skills through dramatization, poetry, puppet plays, songs, storytelling and drawings – creating a foundation in reading and writing.