Biography

Nancy Simoneau – PYP Lead Teacher

What a great honor and privilege to join the teaching team at the International School of Debrecen this fall.

16 years of teaching gives me the gift of finding delight and joy in spending time with children. I taught internationally for the past two years in Saudi Arabia and 13 years before that in the United States in Minnesota where I was born and raised. After my husband and I moved to the neighboring state of Wisconsin in 2015, I spent one year as an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin Stout teaching pre-service primary teachers and supervising them as student teachers.

My Bachelor’s degree was awarded from St. Olaf College, a small liberal arts school in Minnesota and my Master’s Degree in Education comes from the College of St. Catherine in the capital city of St. Paul, Minnesota.

With 12 years of experience teaching within the International Baccalaureate Primary Years’ Program (PYP) framework, I see how inquiry-based, trans disciplinary education benefits children. The ideals of this approach have allowed me to grow as a teacher of young children and influenced my teaching philosophy as well.

My passion is to support the development of the whole child as they discover who they are in the context of ideas and experiences; and help them see that their truth is not the only truth in a diverse world of multicultural experiences and expression. A cornerstone of the IB-PYP philosophy is to teach children how to be internationally minded which is taught through gaining the mindset, attitudes and behaviors of the 10 learner attributes. Learners are open-minded, inquirers, thinkers, caring, principled, reflective, knowledgeable, risk-takers, balanced and communicators.

Instead of teaching children according to a daily schedule with each period devoted to a specific subject that oftentimes can be taught in a disconnected way, students construct their knowledge about a topic by the teacher inviting, engaging and guiding their curiosities. Following and guiding student inquiry allows learning to become meaningful to students and lets them make connections as they listen, speak, view, explore, experiment, experience, wonder, question, read and write. Bringing content to life, students can see real world application to their studies and construct their knowledge instead of memorizing content for a test which can all too soon be forgotten. This approach demands student engagement and a growing independence as students cannot just sit and wait for the teacher to tell them what to do and what to think. In the PYP framework, lessons are delivered to children by sparking their curiosity and connecting their experiences around six themes or units: Who We Are, How We Express Ourselves, How We Organize Ourselves, How the World Works, Where We are in Place and Time, and Sharing the Planet. Basic skill development occurs as well so that children can apply their language and mathematical knowledge to their conceptual understanding.

The cornerstone of my philosophy of education is that healthy classrooms are built on caring relationships. Caring relationships are modeled among adults, among interactions between adults and children and taught through fostering friendships among children within the classroom and within the school community. When these relationships are created and deepened throughout the year, I find that children learn best when they feel safe, comfortable and loved. Classroom management runs smoothly when children have a sense of belonging, exercise personal power and feel valued for their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Connections with friends and caring adults make school a place where children want to be.

As a positive person, I focus on the good that happens each day. My students know that I see the better version of themselves that they bring to school each day. I enjoy planning with other teachers and believe in the strength of teamwork. I teach because I believe in the power of education and that the peace and love created in the micro-world of an elementary classroom can have a longlasting ripple effect in a world yet to be created by our young people.

Get in touch

In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Contact us

International Educational Center of Debrecen (DENOK) – International School of Debrecen (ISD)
1 Heltai Gáspár st., Debrecen-Pallag, H-4002
+36 20 404 4822
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