Ali Rabideau is currently in her 7th year teaching here at TCS. An alumna from the class of 2012, Ali attended TCS from K-12 and then received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English Language and Literature from Gordon College. We are delighted to have Ali back at TCS on staff with some of the very faculty who once taught her. Miss Rabideau currently teaches first grade, coaches volleyball, and is the theater director.
She recently completed her master’s degree in Reading: Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University. With this, she will be able to obtain her NJ Reading Specialist Certification. Miss Rabideau is excited to apply what she learned within her own classroom as well as coach other elementary teachers in teaching reading in their classrooms.
We sat down with Miss Rabideau to tell us more about her experience at TCS as a student and a teacher.
What do you love most about TCS?
Something that I loved when I attended TCS and still love are the many opportunities for students. The youngest can participate in a variety of elementary clubs – from Reader’s Theater to STEM and the older kids choose from a number of different sports, robotics, debate and theater. There are all these different opportunities that we have for them that are outside of the academic sphere. I loved doing that when I was a student here and I’m glad that I get a chance to help out with multiple things now.
I also love teaching about the Bible. I love that we get to talk about God freely as a staff and also with the students, and that we get to talk about our faith and grow in our faith together.
What is one word that best describes the school?
I would say faithful. God has been faithful to the school for so long. There are a lot of faithful people here as well, whether it’s teachers who worked at TCS for a very long time like the Bills or Mrs. Sciacca, or families that are very dedicated to TCS. Our faculty and staff are also very faithful to their work and to their students.
What are your favorite memories from TCS?
I have so many great memories. I was on student council, so I loved being a part of planning riot night and spirit week! That was always really stressful as a student council person, but then it was so fun, and the payoff was great. I also loved theater. One of my favorite things was getting to play Jo March in Little Women my senior year. That was my favorite book. I loved working with Mr. Rauseo during the play. Those are some of my best memories!
In what ways do you feel like TCS prepared you for college and beyond?
I remember in high school the academics were pretty rigorous. Once I got to college, I remember my first semester was so easy and I was surprised! Since I had already been doing a lot of higher-level work, it wasn’t as big of a transition as I thought it would be. College gradually became harder, but I was really surprised at how much I already knew and felt ready for because I had done much of that work in high school.
In what ways are you preparing students for life beyond TCS?
I prepare them by teaching the basics of reading and math and trying to find their interests. There are some students that I see, and I think, “They love to build, they can be an engineer someday. I want to encourage those students to do STEM activities” or “This child wants to be a teacher”. I am always seeing these different things that they want to be and helping to give them the chance to foster that passion that they have, so that some day they can pursue that. I was in first grade when I knew I wanted to become a teacher. You can be as young as that when you find your calling!
What is your favorite part about teaching?
There are so many great things! I love seeing student progress. I love seeing how they started and then how they’re doing now and seeing the improvement. I love it when a student finds something that they really enjoy or really love within the subjects and finds something they really connect with. I love being able to make those connections with other subjects too so that they’re interested in all of it. I love doing fun and hands on things, those are especially fun ways to teach!
How are faith and learning integrated at TCS?
There’s a big emphasis on biblical integration even within subjects that are not Bible. A lot of our curriculum has the biblical aspect integrated already like our Science and Social Studies curriculum. Even with Reading and Math we are able to integrate it in our own way. God wants us to learn about Him and the things of this world that He created. I believe faith and learning go hand in hand.
Why did you decide to pursue your master’s degree?
I love learning. We were at a convention a couple of years ago where we were sitting in seats like in college and I was thinking, “I miss sitting and learning”. So, I decided I was going to finally do it! I’ve always wanted to learn and further my education. I wanted to do that in a formal way by getting my master’s and then I hope to continue doing that in more of an informal way by doing my own research. I’m definitely a lifelong learner!