My name is Monica Ghicu. I am a teacher, a traveler, a tech enthusiast and a polyglot. I speak 4 languages, I understand 6 and I'm currently learning my 7th. Over the past 15 years, I travelled to 29 different countries, on 3 continents and I lived in 3 countries. I am an avid reader, a passionate skier, and a beach-enthusiast. I live with music, I play the guitar since I was 11, and I just learned to strum the ukulele. I love telling stories and listening to them. I am passionate about photography - I love unearthing wonders in the most unexpected places. Life never ceases to amaze me!
I started teaching in 2005, working at an IB school in Bucharest, Romania, first as a French teacher and language specialist, then as an Elementary homeroom teacher. I have a BA in French and German, an MA in French, a Teaching Degree, a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate, as well as a Teaching English to Young Learners Certificate. I have earned my MEd in International Teaching in July 2015.
During my teaching career so far, I have worked with hundreds of students from all over the world, ranging mainly from Kindergarten to Grade 5. I My husband, Andrei Ghicu, is also a teacher. He taught Physical Education at an international school in Kuwait for over 8 years, before moving to Romania, where we worked together for 6 years at the same IB school. We then moved to Tianjin, China, where we worked at an IB school for 3 years, before moving to Shanghai to work at another international school in this beautiful city. I taught Elementary students as a homeroom teacher, a French teacher, an ELL teacher and a coach, and I am currently serving my school as a Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator.
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
I believe that each child is unique and precious. Exceptional individualities, with endless potential, children need the just-right amount and type of support, encouragement, care and intellectual stimulation to grow, to reach their full potential and ultimately to make the world a better place. I am dedicated to the development of the whole child; therefore, in my teaching I am driven by the desire to ensure that each child benefits from the environment and the tools necessary for his or her complete development, while addressing the different learning styles and intelligences. The main ideas leading my teaching are: (1) all teaching and learning is student centered, (2) a child can learn best if his or her curiosity is promoted and encouraged, and (3) all things and people deserve respect and appreciation.
I believe that the teacher’s role is that of a guide, rather than the ultimate source of all information. When students’ curiosity is awakened, encouraged and respected, they take ownership of their own learning and start to search for knowledge and to discover ways to find answers to their questions. It is my desire to develop in children a passion for learning, which will not stop the moment the school year has finished, but will lead and accompany them for the rest of their life. Providing students with access to hands-on activities, first-hand experiences and meaningful contexts where to apply their learning creates an opportunity for individual discovery and construction of knowledge to happen. I believe that positive, consistent and timely feedback is crucial in providing the child with information on his or her progress, success and need for growth.
As a language teacher, I believe in the development of language and literacy for all learners so they can become global citizens fluent in more than one language. I believe that a teacher should seek to empower or capacitate students with the necessary skills and confidence to take their learning outside the classroom and to use it in real-life contexts. At the same time, the teachers have the moral responsibility to emulate the behaviors they expect their students to acquire. In my class, I aim to develop speaking, reading, listening and writing skills as well as insight into culture, visual understanding and presentation proficiency in the modern language. My instruction focuses on building literacy and communication skills to develop fluency in speech and writing as well as an appreciation of the target culture.
My classroom is a caring, safe and fair environment, where each child can blossom and grow. With a fair, positive, consistent and firm approach to discipline, I empower students to become responsible members of our classroom community. In modeling for the children how to become responsible for themselves, as well as their own learning, I am giving them the tools to believe in themselves, to be proud of themselves and to be successful in life.
I believe learning is for a lifetime; therefore I take pleasure in the learning process I experience every day, learning from my colleagues, the parents and the community, but foremost from the children. Children have taught me how to open my mind and my heart, how to enjoy life wholeheartedly, how to take risks with a smile on my face and how to appreciate the diversity of our world, with its challenges and rewards.