Nadine De Pape
Education (School/College/University): O.L.V. Katholieke Normaalschool, St. Amandsberg, St. Paul DOS – remedial teaching
Degree: Elementary Education (grade 1 thru 6) + remedial teaching
I began teaching in: 1981
I began teaching at St. Joseph in: 2000
After 22 years of being a elementary school classroom teacher, I now have the privilege of teaching my most favorite subject of all, Science. In addition to teaching science in grades 4, 5, and 6, I am also coaching drama as an after school curricular activity.
I was born in Belgium where I received my degree in elementary education and taught for 7 years. After graduating and working on my tenure, I attained my degree in remedial teaching which focused on language and math in first and second grade.
I followed my husband, Wim, to Anderson. The exciting move from Belgium to the USA was only tempered by my thoughts that I would never be able to return to teaching. My children Pieter, born in 1988, and Sara, born in 1991, attended St. Joseph Catholic School. By the grace of God I was given the opportunity to act as a substitute, which eventually lead to a full time position first in third grade and then in fifth grade. I am now in my 13th year of teaching at St. Joseph’s.
I try to make my science classes as hands-on as possible. I have always loved to dissect “things.” So in addition to working with science kits related to rocks and minerals, nutrition, electricity, and chemistry, just to name a few, my students are dissecting sheep eyes and pig hearts. They not only do poster board reports when studying about astronomy and biomes, but they also have to use their creativity to build tectonic plate movements and teach the class about their own science experiments about sound and light.
Together with the other science teacher of 7th and 8th grade, we organize a science day. The middle school students work with a partner to create “science stations” for elementary school students to visit. Each station addresses a certain science experiment taught by the middle school students.
Performance assessments are a very important part of the science testing. Memorizing terms and concepts is important, but being able to apply this knowledge shows a much deeper understanding of the introduced material. I strive to excel my students so they can all reach this higher level of thinking which prepares them so well of their further academic aspirations.
Being a teacher has been my calling since I was a first grader myself. I have never wanted to be anything else but a teacher and couldn’t imagine not being able to be a part of educating young children.
I have thoroughly enjoying my years at St. Joseph, first as a parent, then as a teacher, and now as an interim principal. My dedication to our school is still as high as it was when I started in 2000.