Joe Braxton

K/1 Lead Teacher

My Education and Teaching/Professional Background

I have my B.A. in Media Studies from Pitzer College and a Masters in education from Claremont Graduate University where I also received my teaching credential. I was a lead teacher at New Heights Charter school in South Los Angeles for 9 years before starting at Walden. I taught both Kindergarten and first grade at New Heights and was a founding teacher at the school. I had the pleasure of helping to build the school from the ground up with a number of other amazing educators. I am also Montessori certified.

Year I Started at Walden

2016

I am a Progressive Educator Because ... 

... it means I have the ability to be flexible in how I teach and what I teach without being confined to traditional models that leave no room for growth. Progressive education assumes all children are unique learners and individuals with their own developmental journeys. Being a progressive educator means I believe in project-based learning and Imaginative Inquiry while holding dear the belief that social-emotional growth is just as important as academic success.

What I Love About Walden

"We strive, therefore...to teach that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live." This is my favorite part of the Walden mission, and its importance to our community is probably one of my favorite things about Walden. What I teach my students in the course of two years is only important if it helps them change the world for the better when they leave us.

My Favorite Walden Tradition

I love the Halloween Carnival!

Best Teaching Moment

The moments every year when you look over and notice a child doing something on their own they had never done before. Also, the empathy and creativity shown by my students this year as they designed train cars for the differently-abled was amazing and humbling.

Professional Development

 Montessori certified, Readers and Writer's Workshop professional development and trainings, Bridges training, SEL training, Responsive Classroom Training, Project Wild Certified, and Design Thinking.

My Joy

My son is my everything. I love reading and politics. Passionate about making sure my work helps make the world a more tolerant and equitable place.

Fun Fact About Me

I once worked at Chuck E. Cheese in Florida. I got to be Chuck E. for one evening.

Book Recommendation for Students

For older students "March," the graphic novel trilogy by John Lewis. For younger students "The Giving Tree" or anything by Shel Silverstein. I also love Dr. Seuss, and "Charlotte's Web" of course.

Activism Recommendation for Students and Families

Read about civil rights leaders, and be as appropriately honest as you can about the inequality and inequity that exist in our country with the acknowledgment that even the very young can have a role in making the world a kinder and more tolerant place.