Aurora Pompeo is "a true gift to the future students of Tahoma!"

Aurora Pompeo is "a true gift to the future students of Tahoma!"
Posted on 09/16/2021

Before Aurora Pompeo graduated from Tahoma High School, and long before she joined the staff at historic Tahoma Elementary school, she was on the THS “We The People” team. At the time, she planned to become an attorney. But things change, especially in high school. During her senior year, Pompeo took a class that changed everything: “Introduction to Early Childhood Education.”

In this class, she realized she loved working with students and teaching. And so, after graduating from Tahoma, she started working in the district as a paraeducator in the preschool program. Pompeo also enrolled in the Central Washington University Bachelor’s of Education program, attending the CWU satellite campus at Highline College. By working as a paraeducator in the morning and taking night classes, Pompeo utilized what she learned during the day to enrich her college learning.

Ms. Pompeo's Kindergarten Class

The final phase of her degree program was student teaching. Pompeo began student teaching at Glacier Park Elementary School in Laura Morrow’s first grade class in March. In June, she completed the requirement for her teaching credentials and graduated with her Bachelor’s in Education, landing herself a kindergarten teacher role at TES.

“I have had the great privilege of watching Aurora Pompeo grow as an educator the past two years,” Principal Shelly Gaston said. “It was clear the first day she started her student teaching practicum that she was going to be successful. Aurora’s passion for teaching, growth mindset, and commitment to excellence is evident in every interaction I have with her. Aurora Pompeo is a true gift to the future students of Tahoma!”

Pompeo plans to work as a teacher to take time and learn from her experiences before starting a master’s program at CWU. Her plan is to earn her next degree in five years.

While acknowledging the challenges of teaching during the pandemic, Pompeo said she also realized that the variation from “normal” provided her opportunities that enhanced her learning. In the classroom, with the students six feet apart (the distancing requirements in place last spring) she had to be extra mindful about how to keep the students in the back of the class as engaged as the front row students. During hybrid learning, teaching morning and afternoon sessions allowed for improvements teaching the lesson to happen the same day. The quick opportunities for improvement reinforced the skill set she was striving to master. Another big takeaway is that “being in person will never be taken for granted ever again.”

Teaching during hybrid learning helped Pompeo and her students be more flexible thinkers. The shared experience of working through the pandemic, first remotely and then in the hybrid format, has built empathy and increased opportunities for connections with the students. She has been so impressed with how the students have “not only met but exceeded expectations” by being creative in their learning. 

This fall, Pompeo gets to bring that innovative thinking, and the lessons she learned during Introduction to Early Childhood Education, to Tahoma Elementary, and a whole pack of young Cubs.

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