It is said that the art of teaching is assisting discovery, and so much discovery happens in the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. Ms. Samantha Budelman, a kindergarten teacher there for six years, is more than happy to assist.
Ms. Budelman graduated from West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and is currently pursuing her master’s degree there to become a reading specialist. Ms. Budelman completed her student teaching in the District as well, working with Miss Wendy Clendening, a third-grade teacher at Bancroft Elementary School.
Along with instructing students in the classroom, Ms. Budelman has several other roles: “I attended SIOP [Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol] trainings and helped train other teachers. I’ve worked with teachers on creating meaningful work stations and incorporating strategies like Word Sorts into everyday lessons, along with creating and sharing several SmartBoard lessons to use with our various curriculums. I’m also a member of the Spirit Committee, where I help organize monthly spirit assemblies, order spirit wear, and assist with community-building activities.”
Teaching kindergarten comes with many challenges because it’s many students’ first time being away from their parents. “Kindergarten is the foundation for the rest of each student’s school career, and I try to provide students with tools and skills to cope with their feelings about starting school,” says Ms. Budelman. “When they leave my classroom, my goal is for them to feel confident for the rest of their school career.”
Along with challenges, there are also many rewards. Ms. Budelman recalls a moment when she was student teaching at Bancroft Elementary School and was mentoring a student who struggled with reading. “We worked to build his confidence with different activities and technologies. In my last week of student teaching, this student came to me and said, ‘Miss Budelman, I can read this book all by myself!’ When this student read with confidence and expression, tears came to my eyes. This moment made me realize that we, as teachers, have the ability to change lives.”
Ms. Budelman loves everything about working in the Kennett Consolidated School District, from the students, her colleagues, and the parents to the school community. “Kennett has provided me with wonderful opportunities to grow professionally and has become my home. I feel so honored to teach in such a wonderful district.”
Ms. Budelman is originally from Freehold, New Jersey, where her family lives, and she enjoys visiting them and spending time on the beach in the summer. She also has a dog, Jasmine, that she enjoys taking on long walks. She also hopes to return to coaching cheerleading once she completes graduate school.