Meet First Grade Teacher Rachael VanLandingham

We are excited to welcome Mrs. VanLandingham to our Pardes community!

Q: Why did you choose to work at Pardes Jewish Day School?

A: I was looking forward to reconnecting with my roots to the Jewish community.

Q: What motivated you to become a teacher or to work in education?

A: My first job was working in the daycare at the local YMCA when I was 16 years old. I just loved it working with the kids. That kind of just grew into this desire of wanting to be an educator.

Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching or working in education?

A: The connections you build with the families and students.

Q: What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class(es)?

A: Big question for a group of students so young, but I would have to say to be kind. Above all.

Q: How do you keep current with the subject areas you cover?

A: Educating myself constantly and being willing to try new things.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: One that left an impression on me: “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry – I am not kidding. I read it in fifth grade for the first time; still have the same old copy and reread it every so often.

Q: What is your favorite book as an adult?

A: Another heavy question, but I’ll say the genre I am “vibing” with at the moment. Historical Fiction – very into Ancient Egypt and Greece right now.

Q: What are some of your interests/hobbies?

A: I love to cook, travel, camp, but love to eat above all of that. If I could, I would eat my way through Europe.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this school year?

A: Being back in person was what I was most looking forward to, and here we are!