Kid Smart Education

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"Every now and then you come across someone who is truly amazing at what they do. Nancy Gleason is one of those people. Whether you have a child who loves math or struggles with math, she is a resource to consider."
- Judy Lazaro

Hannah Mangham

Spanish 1 & 2
College Application Essays
SAT Reading, Writing, & Essay

B.A. Comparative Literature & Spanish, Williams College
M.A. English, Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English

I teach because I love it. I love helping students learn the skills and content they need to succeed in their ambitions, and develop confidence in their capabilities and creativity. After teaching English in prep school for six years, I relocated to Vermont to be near my family, to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, and to be able to teach students on a more individual basis.

I’ve heard kids say, “I’m so bad at [writing, grammar, etc],” or “School is so boring.” This doesn’t have to be the case. My mission is to help students reframe these thoughts and to open the door to change: “I am learning to use commas correctly,” “I am learning to organize my essays effectively,” and “I can find a topic that interests me.” Learning is a difficult pleasure. No, it’s not always fun to read a school book after a long day or wrestle with a paper you’ve re-written twice already, but the reward of seeing the world through the eyes of Marji in Persepolis or Hamlet in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy is more than worth it. Marji is a child discovering dilemmas of justice, faith, and conflict, and Hamlet is an angsty teenager struggling with indecision, inaction, and forbidden love. Sound familiar? Through exploring the relatable, universal ideas in texts such as these, we can learn more about ourselves and those around us. With this in mind, writing is not just a formulaic exercise; it is a way to develop our ideas beyond what we could have predicted and discover new ways of thinking.

Each kid has a unique academic background and learning style, and my teaching approach reflects that. I have experience teaching students from different countries, states, and backgrounds, from middle school through college age, and at mainstream and honors levels. This experience has been invaluable in informing how I modify my lessons and methods for each student.

Whenever possible, I base my lessons on students’ personal experiences and on real world situations, in order to make learning relevant and meaningful. This could be connecting Orwell’s 1984 to the Stanford Prison Experiment or inviting students to create their own song based on a scene from Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan. I teach vocabulary and grammar in the context of each student’s writing and the books that they’re reading so that it makes sense and is applicable. My approach to teaching writing is structured, emphasizing each step in the process, and I equip students with revision exercises that they can apply to any paper and so become their own best editors.

For teaching Spanish, I ground lessons on grammar and vocabulary in experiences you might have, such as eating dinner in a restaurant, planning for a vacation, or exploring the neighborhood. Students learn by practicing on worksheets, reading news and cultural articles, exploring fashion websites, watching videos, and writing their own advertisements, stories, and journals.

At the end of the day, I teach because it’s fun, and I am passionate about helping students see how fun and rewarding learning can be, too.

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