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Teacher Tuesday: Linden Class

Our Linden Class Superstars
★ Our Linden Class Superstars ★

This week’s Teacher Tuesday will take us into one of our Primary 1 classes located at our Midtown Junior Campus, the extraordinary Linden Class!

The head teacher in our Linden Class is the lovely Ms. Kaya Karunananthan. This is Ms. Kaya’s first year with The Clover School. She is proud to have joined the Clover family and says she “felt right at home” when she began at our school. She loves the warm and welcoming environment at our Midtown Junior Campus and enjoys how everyone helps and supports one another and works as a team. She completed her Montessori Teacher Training at the Canadian Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Her previous work experiences include the YMCA, the Toronto District School Board and other Montessori schools.

Ms. Kaya is very close to her family and she was raised by her grandparents. She is married to her high school sweetheart and together, they have two beautiful daughters – Oviya, who is 5 years old, and Nila, who is 2 years old.

When she is not at school, she loves to go on nature walks and hikes with her family, do DIY projects around her house, bake with her daughters, listen to music, and work in her garden. Her favourite colours are yellow and blue and her all-time favourite dessert is cheesecake. Some fun facts about Ms. Kaya; she is a movie enthusiast and loves films of all genres, but will not watch horror movies (not even during this spooky Halloween season), she went bungee jumping for her 18th birthday, and she has a great appreciation for all sorts of music – you will often find her singing or humming to herself.

The lovely Ms. Kaya Karunananthan
The lovely Ms. Kaya Karunananthan

The jelly to Ms. Kaya’s wow butter (yes – even on the blog, we are nut aware at The Clover School) is the vibrant Ms. Luiza Junqueira. Ms. Luiza has been with The Clover School for over three years following a very interesting education and career history. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting Radio and Television and a postgraduate course in Media Studies. Her experiences led her to working on the Organizing Committee of multiple Olympic Games as well as other large scale sporting events, giving her the opportunity to live and work in Russia, England and Azerbaijan. She even ran with the Olympic torch in the Torch Relay for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.

After some incredible work opportunities, both in Brazil and abroad, Ms. Luiza’s passion has always been to pursue a career in education and working with children. She moved to Toronto from Brazil in 2009 with her husband and her son, Dante.

Ms. Luiza is a trained storyteller and literacy expert. If there was one thing all of our staff and students would tell you about Ms. Luiza, it would be that she LOVES books and reading. Small, local coffee shops, book stores and libraries are her favourite places in the world. Last year she ran two very successful Clover book clubs – one for our Toddler/Pre-Primary students and one for our Primary students. Ms. Luiza even shares book recommendations and resources with caregivers and other educators using an online platform (via blog and social media). She uses reading and books as a tool to teach and encourage empathy, diversity, inclusion, and mindfulness in children. Reviewing, editing, and translating books is a big part of her evenings after school and a source of great joy for her!

In addition to her love for books, Ms. Luiza adores a delicious cup of coffee (or a few cups – she has been known to drink as much as a litre per day!), sharing a good meal with family and friends, and travelling the world. Her favourite colours are blue and purple and she loves chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips.

Ms. Luiza Junqueira
The vibrant Ms. Luiza Junqueira

There is always so much going on in the Linden class – they are busy as bees! Circle time is a cherished time to the Linden students, where they love to share their thoughts and stories with their teachers and one another. Another beloved classroom activity is story time. Every Friday there is a special story time in Linden class when Ms. Luiza will bring in books on a variety of different themes and afterwards the class will have a communal discussion about the topic of the week.

Ms. Kaya and Ms. Luiza use circle and story time to read about and discuss their monthly classrooms themes. During the month of October, they have explored the themes of autumn, Thanksgiving and Halloween. They will even be carving a pumpkin at the end of the month and the whole class is buzzing with excitement over their upcoming Halloween Party (orange and black dress code in effect!).

Ms. Kaya has developed two new and exciting monthly activities for her students. At the beginning of every month, Ms. Kaya will be introducing a new piece of music and a new painting to her class. For the music of the month, they will discuss as a class the title and composer of the piece, the time period it was created and the instruments that were used in the piece. For the painting of the month, they will discuss as a class the title, artist, time period and materials used to create that painting. Arts and culture is an important part of the Linden curriculum.

In addition to their classroom activities, our Linden friends also have a love of the outdoors. They have so much fun going on walks throughout the community (recently they’ve been coming back so excited to share with the office staff about the beautiful fall leaves they saw while they were out!) and they love playing together at recess. Tag is their all time favourite game!

Ms. Kaya and Ms. Luiza have truly cultivated a sense of camaraderie within their classroom and so many beautiful friendships have blossomed within their Linden community. The students love coming to school each day to see their teachers and each other.

We hope you enjoyed your glimpse into the amazing Linden Class. Check back next week as we dive into the wonderful world of our Primary 2 Maple Class!