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Teacher Tuesday: Maple Class

It’s everyone’s favourite time of the week again…Teacher Tuesday! For this week, we are diving into the wonderful and amazing world of our Primary 2 Maple Class, which is located at our Midtown Junior Campus. Our Maple Class team is comprised of Ms. Megan Behr and Ms. Angelika Santhiappillai. This will be the fourth school year that this dream team has worked together. They are a dynamic duo that go together like bacon and eggs, macaroni and cheese, fish and chips or spaghetti and meatballs.

The head teacher in the Maple Classroom is the marvellous Ms. Megan Behr. Ms. Behr has been with the Clover School for six years. She loves her fellow staff members, the community feel that we have cultivated with our students and their families, and the collaborative nature of our Clover team. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior Levels from Lakehead University, and was trained at the Toronto Montessori Institute. She also has her TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) Certification and even taught in South Korea for a year and a half.

A fun fact is that Ms. Behr is a twin and her twin sister, Ms. Marissa Behr, is one of our Lower Elementary teachers here at the Clover School. Our Junior Campus families will often refer to her twin as “the other Ms. Behr” and some of her Maple students have even graduated from the Primary Program and gone on to be students in her twin’s class! Ms. Behr spends a lot of free time with her twin sister, her two younger sisters and her beloved niece and nephew. Ms. Behr and her sisters were actually adopted from different countries – South Korea, Guatemala and China! She currently has no pets but did grow up on a hobby farm with horses, donkeys, dogs and cats.

She is an athlete who loves to play and watch sports! Her favourites to play are soccer, tennis, badminton and volleyball. In the past, she has run an extremely popular soccer club for our Clover students! Ms. Behr also loves to travel. While she is eager to travel back to Southeast Asia one day, she would love to plan a trip to South America as she has never been to any of the amazing counties on that continent before. Her top choices would be to go to Bolivia (to see the salt flats), to Colombia (to sample their home grown coffee) or to Chile (for their local wines and beautiful Andes mountains). Another favourite pastime of hers is eating at different restaurants in the city – she loves sampling the many cuisines Toronto has to offer.

Photo of Ms. Megan Behr
The marvellous Ms. Megan Behr

The other half of this dynamic duo is the superb Ms. Angelika Santhiappillai, affectionally known to her students as Ms. Santhi. Ms. Santhi has been with the Clover School for four years. She is a registered Early Childhood Educator who completed her diploma in Early Childhood Education at George Brown College and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ryerson University. She also graduated from York University with Consecutive Junior/Primary Early Childhood Education.

Ms. Santhi is extremely family-oriented and is very close to her parents and younger sister. During her free time, she loves taking walks, reading a good book, and curling up on the couch and watching Netflix. She is always willing to start a new show or watch a new movie – unless it is scary – nothing horror for her, not even for Halloween.

Her favourite place that she has travelled to so far has been Jamaica, but when we are safely able to travel again, she would love to plan a trip to Tokyo or Thailand. A fun fact about Ms. Santhi is that if she could have any superpower, she would love to be able to teleport – the ability to be somewhere new in the blink of eye. This would be a very useful superpower to have when planning her next travel adventure.

Her favourite breakfast food is French toast, and she is a tea enthusiast. One of the most comforting and soothing things in the world for Ms. Santhi is enjoying a freshly brewed cup of tea – she will try any flavour at least once! 

Photo of Ms. Angelika Santhiappillai
The superb Ms. Angelika Santhiappillai

Ms. Behr and Ms. Santhi are so proud of the sense of community and home that they have built and cultivated in their classroom. The Maple Class has a very tight-knit group of students and parents, and Ms. Behr and Ms. Santhi have helped to grow and develop these bonds and friendships. The Maple students love to spend time with their friends, classmates and teachers. Ms. Santhi and Ms. Behr have built strong connections and relationships with their students and will share stories with them about their families and what they do on the weekend. Their class also loves to discuss sports – they especially love cheering on our Toronto sports teams.

Our Maple students love their classroom work cycle time and are very hard and diligent workers. They love reading and sharing books with one another. The culture section of their classroom is a favourite amongst the students. They love activities such as identifying parts of an animal, classifying different instruments in an orchestra, and working on puzzle maps. The students also love learning about classical composers and listening to their pieces in music class. Coming up next month, they will be learning about Beethoven and his symphonies. In art class, the students love studying famous artists. Their upcoming art lessons will be on the famous Canadian landscape painters, the Group of Seven. Coming up for the month of November, an important theme in Maple Class will be peace, in honour of Remembrance Day. There will be lots of discussion as well as themed activities, such as reading the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields”, and observing a moment of silence to commemorate the day.

An important lesson our Maple students are learning about is Virtues and Characteristics, such as patience, respect, tolerance, and kindness. Diversity studies is a large part of the curriculum in the Maple Class. They learn about people from all over the world – of different cultures, races, religions and ability levels. They discuss everyone’s similarities and differences and how we are all connected through love. Ms. Behr and Ms. Santhi teach their students acceptance and to celebrate what makes each individual person unique and special. For Orange Shirt Day in October, they learned all about different Indigenous Groups – even reading a story which taught the students different Inuit words. In early November, they will be learning about an important tradition in Mexican culture: Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). On that day, they will be bringing in photos of their ancestors and honouring them with sugar skulls and flowers.

While our Maple students work very hard each day at school, their days are also filled with lots of fun and play. The Maple Class is always full of laughter and joy. An event that the students are looking very much forward to is their classroom Halloween celebrations, especially decorating their classroom pumpkins. They also love being outdoors – the students enjoy playing with their fellow classmates during recess and playing sports during their gym classes with their physical education teacher, Ms. Aguilera. 

There is always something new and exciting to learn, do, or explore in the Maple Class. The innovative and creative lesson plans that Ms. Behr and Ms. Santhi have developed have truly blossomed a deep sense of curiosity and a love of learning within their students.

Thank you for learning more about our amazing Maple Class and its incredible team of educators. Come back next week to learn more about our Pre-Primary 2 Birch Class and the fabulous and lovely Ms. Perera and Ms. Newton!