Mrs. Joni Stockton
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I have been teaching Kindergarten here in Room 10 at Zaharis since we opened in the Fall of 2002 and taught Kindergarten at Alma Elementary School for 6 years before that. Needless to say, Kindergarten is my niche! I love the enthusiasm and the fast pace of Kindergartners. What a wonder to be a part of seeing those little minds soak up the world around them.
I am a strong believer in allowing children to develop at their own pace - which they will do whether we allow it or not! These early learners need to explore, create, invent, inquire, interact and have exciting adventures in order to develop into the wonderful people that they are meant to be. That is why you will still see a playhouse, a sand table, a painting easel, building blocks and that wonderful loft (custom built by Big Blake) in Room 10. We will play each day, because play is children's work and they learn more than we will ever know as a result. There are mountains of research supporting this philosophy of learning for young children. This certainly does not mean that my expectations are anything but very high. We will also work together as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, artists, researchers and musicians. In the end, we will all grow and achieve far beyond any prescribed standard as we work together as a community of learners.
Before teaching, I was blessed to be a stay at home mom with 4 little boys and started teaching when they were all in school. I graduated from Grand Canyon University in 1994 with a B.S. in Elementary Education and from A.S.U. in 2006 with an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. I am also a Mesa native and attended Mesa Public Schools: Lowell, Holmes, Mesa Jr. High and Mesa High.
My husband Blake and I have been married for 30+ short years and we love to read, cook, pray, sing and travel when we get the chance. Those 4 little boys have grown into big, strong men with remarkable wives, all of whom we are very proud. However, we are "Papa and Noni" to some little people we treasure and with whom none can compare: our 7 precious grandchildren Julia, Selah, Grace, Noah, Gabby, Stetson and Bella! We are really good at this grandparent thing!