Introducing: Our Teacher Profile Series!
We talk so much about the approaches and practices that we think make a school stand out. But what makes a school really special is when it’s the place where children meet their favorite teachers.
This fall, we’re profiling our PCS facilitators: the wise, passionate and engaging teachers who hear what your child is really saying, who speak their language, and who arrive at PCS each day ready to meet your child right where they are.
Quincy Milligan, Early Childhood Facilitator
For many PCS kids and families, Quincy Milligan is their introduction not only to PCS, but to school itself. As an Early Childhood facilitator, he is often the first person a family hands their child over to for the day, and that’s one of the very reasons he’s here – to have the incredible opportunity to facilitate a child’s first formal learning experiences. “I think it’s so exciting,” Quincy says, “to be so many children’s first school experience. They want to explore and try everything which is so fun.”
This innate curiosity and openmindedness, this desire to try it all, have a hand in everything, look closer, figure it out, drives Quincy’s approach to Early Childhood learning. “I believe that classrooms should be child-centered, curriculum should be emergent and play should be a fundamental part of learning, at any age.” Quincy loves playing sports, being outdoors, going to the ocean, and romping around with his dog, so engaging with 3 and 4 year olds is a natural energy fit for him (and makes him the PCS go-to for Thermos-top unscrewing!).
But, not every child bursts through the door every day ready to conquer every challenge. Children hesitate, are sometimes apprehensive, and have real worries. Often, they need our help. And that’s another reason that Quincy is here: to support all children as they grow into the world around them. “My favorite teacher was Mrs. Denon, my Kindergarten and first grade teacher,” Quincy says. “I remember her kindness and her warmth. I was a really shy kid and she made me feel safe and comfortable.” For the earliest learners at PCS, their sustained march toward independence and ability is marked by so many daily firsts, new situations, and transitions, and Quincy is a steady guide, reassuring his own students, as Mrs. Denon for him, that they are safe and supported. We often see him taking time with a child, kneeling to see eye to eye, to explain an upcoming transition or practicing daily routines like hanging up backpacks with his class.
Though steady, Quincy certainly is not stagnant. He is committed to life-long learning, aiming “to try new things and not ever get stuck in my ways. I hope that I continue to learn and implement new approaches to teaching.” One of Quincy’s favorite activities in the classroom, besides building and tinkering, is documentation. He loves to capture children’s ideas whether in words or through artwork, and display their learning in a way that honors their individual learning style and highlights the beauty of their work.
Currently, Quincy says a lot of his learning is about himself. Over the past year, Quincy has shared with the PCS community that he is transgender and in the process of transition (favorite student response: “Yes! Another boy!”). Quincy’s journey to self is an act of bravery and honesty that inspires not only his students, but everyone in the PCS community.