About the Instructor: My heritage is British as my mother was born and raised in London, England. My grandmother worked as the chief seamstress to the queen’s lady-in-waiting, so she was taught to be very aware of how she presented herself to others. This of course inspired her in how she raised my mother, which in turn affected how I was brought up. Etiquette and courtesy were of prime importance in everything I did. Believing in myself and feeling confident in knowing how to behave in any dining or social gathering, have been priceless.
I was born in South Africa in 1962, married in 1987 and have three children. My family immigrated to the USA at the end of 1998, and I began teaching in a multi-grade K-2 classroom in a private church school in Glenview, Illinois. I found Americans to be friendly, helpful and outgoing. It was during my first year here, and through my observation of children's behavior, that I decided to add learning manners to my daily targets in the classroom. Over time, I realized that this wasn't enough, and as I attended professional development courses, I learned that there were other teachers and presenters who felt the same way as I did. It was when I took on the role as a preschool director that I realized the importance of teaching children polite responses along with a firm handshake, good eye contact and polite table manners. These skills would give them confidence in themselves and the respect they deserve. My team teacher helped me in establishing a regular Friday tea party with Mr. and Mrs. C (C stands for courtesy). It proved to be a big hit with the children as they got to bake, dress up, set the table (with cloth napkins), make table decorations, and drink out of china tea-cups. Tidying up afterwards also turned out to be a most enjoyable experience. Along with learning how to take care of fragile dishes, each child got a turn to do something different every week: washing up, drying and packing away were some favorite jobs. Besides...what is more fun than having the social interaction continue after the party!
My second daughter was still part of the upper elementary school when I decided to share my intrinsic knowledge of etiquette with more than my own family. I was inspired by the courses that I had attended as part of my professional development, and knew that I could spark a fire in the youngsters of my daughter's sixth grade class. I felt the tremendous draw in helping preteens understand and experience the success brought on by self-confidence in knowing how to behave in any situation. Feeling confident and at peace with one's self, leads to success in job interviews, and subsequently at business and formal or informal social functions.
I have also felt the draw in teaching children of any age how to make dishes from scratch, thus putting into our bodies fewer artificial flavors and additives. I strongly support using and wasting less, as well as baking and cooking with organically grown ingredients. The use of authentic tableware instead of throw-away paper and plastic is also part of my philosophy. Looking after what goes into our mouths (and what comes out of them) as well as how we clothe and present ourselves, allows us to set a caringly-confident example; something which is rare and invaluable in today's society.
My lessons inspire the participants to develop this attitude: "I believe in myself and I will go out and show the world my very best...let me do it well."
Experience: 1998 - 2014 K through 2nd grade co-teacher, Glenview, USA 2004 - 2007 Preschool director and K-2 team-teacher 1991 - 1998 1st and 2nd grade teacher, Durban, South Africa 1985 - 1990 Preschool teacher, Durban, South Africa Education: Bachelor of Science in Early Education Edgewood College of Education, South Africa SLANT certification (a multi-sensory method of teaching reading)