Polaris

Expeditionary Learning School

Tom Noel

Tom Noel's picture
Directory Information
Job Position: 
Job Role: 
Phone Number: 
488-8260
Room Number: 
139
About Me
What inspired you to get into the field of education?: 

I’m here because I like variety and experience. I enjoy dipping into all sorts of different subjects from philosophy to physics to astronomy. We play with stuff like solar-powered bugs and we juggle hacky sacks. Each time I meet a new student, I am curious to discover what kids notice. I enjoy being a leader into new frontiers. Fourth and fifth grade is a great place to stoke the fire that is already lit in these expansive years of a child's life.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?: 

I’m blessed to be working each day with kids at this wonderful age. They are realizing how much there is to discover, and they are literally bouncing with excitement about what’s next. There is nothing like a wide-eyed look and a quick breath that indicates a new way of seeing the world. Those moments are sweet.

I’m at the point now where I have former students in their 30’s. It is extremely gratifying to listen to their memories about elementary school, and share stories so I can learn what they’ve taken away from their elementary days. Sometimes it takes a while for seeds to germinate.

General background information (years in education, degree(s), Universities/Colleges attended): 

-Dual Bachelor’s degree in French Language and International Trade Relations from UNC

-Master’s from Colorado College in Elementary Teaching

-1 year sabbatical as Teacher in Residence in the Mathematics and Science Partnership at CSU’s National Resource Ecology Laboratory

Interests/Hobbies: 

I especially like squirting the dog with the hose, making things balance, plunking and strumming, throwing myself from not-so-towering rock ledges into clear chilly water, listening to and reading great stories, and tossing grounders and pop flies.

Thought Provoking Quote: 

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
― W.B. Yeats

My Classroom
Courses Taught: 

All your beloved elementary subjects. I'm our 4/5 science guy.

About My Classroom: 

The kids and the learning make the classroom beyond ordinary. There are daily opportunities to  focus upon something new, surprising, and very often challenging. With time, trust and courage, it is a safe place to open up and take healthy risks, make necessary mistakes, puzzle, question, assert, giggle, illustrate, illuminate, edify, befriend, express, encourage, revise, polish, publish, and practice.