Meet Barbara Stadd

February 02, 2016

Meet Barbara Stadd

Learn how this veteran educator helps to set her students up for a lifetime of success. 

Barbara Stadd has worked as an educator for the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC’s Stoler Early Childhood Education Center for 35 years. She teaches kindergarten, where her goal is “to provide an integrated approach using creative, inventive and hands-on techniques to teaching.”

Mrs. Stadd especially enjoys discovering that her students understand what she has tried to impart to them. “It makes me very happy to see the progress each child makes from September to June, and the values we’ve instilled.”

“Our kindergarten focuses on the fundamentals of reading, math, language, science, journal writing, and social studies. The children also learn Hebrew, Spanish, and sign language and participate in gardening, physical education, swimming, cooking, art, Second Step, Ethical Start, Healthy Choices, intergenerational programs, and so much more.”

Focus on Jewish Values 
The ECE’s Ethical Start program is a values development curriculum based on the classical Jewish text Pirkei Avot  “By teaching my students Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers)– I am helping them to learn about Jewish values such as showing respect to others,” she says.  Mrs. Stadd creates learning opportunities around other values such as:

She provides her children lessons that are simple yet philosophical. The lessons teach the children to stop, think, and exercise control.

Innovative Teaching Strategies
Throughout Mrs. Stadd’s career, she has had the opportunity to continue her own professional development, exploring new and innovative programs and teaching strategies, which she incorporates into the Stoler ECE’s kindergarten program.

“We encourage the children to be creative and inventive.”

During reading time, Mrs. Stadd employs the Orton Gillingham Approach to reading instruction, which is a multisensory approach to reading. “We look at the word, we feel the word, and we say the word.”

Before writing with a pencil the children become comfortable “writing” with water, shaving cream, rice, and clay so they can, as Mrs. Stadd explains, “feel the strokes kinesthetically.”

Mrs. Stadd loves the fact that she has small classes, which provide for a lot of one-on-one time with her students. This year she has three reading groups all at different skill levels.  Her parents are thrilled with having small groups.

“Students read three days a week/ two hours a day. She also has an excellent Listening Center where the students wear ear phones and directions are given.  This builds attention, concentration, memory, and auditory skills.”

Influence Beyond the Classroom
“Building character is also a very important component of our program. I help the students and families incorporate the values and traditions we teach at home.”

Mrs. Stadd recalls many stories from her past 35 years: about the boy whose father was a Raven’s player — his son became so involved in singing traditional Chanukah songs, he told his dad he was really Jewish; about the Jewish mother and her daughter who Mrs. Stadd taught how to prepare a seder  – the mother sent Mrs. Stadd thank you flowers for many holidays afterwards.

Mrs. Stadd’s former students call her to say “hello”, and their parents come on the phone and describe what a wonderful impact the ECE has had on their child – how one young boy won the spelling bee and is accelerating in the third grade; how one young  boy even jumped from first to second grade.

“Funny stories happen every day in the classroom. There are so many and each one brings me joy.”  

Today, school systems want kids to meet with success, and they’re aware that kids from the JCC kindergarten are very well prepared.

At the Stoler ECE, the kindergarten assistants are all professional teachers with Master’s Degrees. The students also benefit from an amazing, one-of-a-kind Learn to Swim program and the JCC’s Healthy Choices curriculum, a program that uses an integrated approach to teach and raise awareness of the importance of making healthy food choices and the benefits of being physically active.

“Parents feel like this is a close-knit community, a very close community with parental involvement.”

A few of Mrs. Stadd’s past students have also come to speak at the Stoler ECE orientations and open houses. “Adorable!”

“I tell my children and parents: I need you, you need me — we need to work together.”

Mrs. Stadd holds her undergraduate degree in elementary education and certification in early childhood education. She attended University of Maryland, Towson State University, and Johns Hopkins University.  

“Seeing the impact I have made has made teaching so meaningful to me,” she says.

Sign up for our newsletter