Claire Grillo - Kindergarten Lead Teacher

I chose to teach at Shipley because I immediately sensed it was a place where kids' voices were encouraged and individualism was nurtured.

First Grade Lead Teacher

  • What three adjectives would you use to describe your classroom?

    Loving, Engaging, Calm
  • What do you love about Shipley?

    I love the instant sense of family and community felt at Shipley. Within just a few weeks of working with my new colleagues, families and friends, I felt a sense of familiarity and belonging it would ordinarily take months to feel in a new place.
  • What inspired you to choose education?

    I was inspired to become a teacher by my mother, father, and a dear friend in high school. My mother was an avid reader and student of the universe – the kindest, gentlest, smartest lady I have ever known. My father was an outstanding educator and artist who literally opened our family home to his students. It was a regular occurrence to find his English and creative writing students at our doorstep on a Saturday night just because they wanted to chat with “Mr. G.”
  • What is your favorite lesson, project, or activity? Why?

    I love a yearly self-portrait wall created in our classroom space. Each month I teach a guided drawing lesson, introducing different techniques and new materials (markers, pastels, watercolors) for drawing a self-portrait. We use mirrors to study our faces. We deeply discuss and experiment with colors to match our varying and beautiful shades of skin. We discuss the details of the face – eyebrows, eyelashes, freckles. Each month we do this and add the pictures to our portrait wall. At the end of the school year, we bind all the portraits and present them to our families as a keepsake. It is incredible to see how a kindergartener’s interpretation of himself/herself changes as their language and literacy skills explode!
  • What is your year-end goal for every student who walks into your classroom?

    It is my greatest hope and goal that all friends leaving my classroom in June feel confident in who they are and how they learn best. It is my belief that if children are to carry on feeling the natural curiosity they bring to school, they must feel heard, valued, and loved. I want all friends to leave me feeling loved, excited about learning, and curious about what is to come.
  • What is your favorite food?

    I love sushi.
  • Are you married and/or have children?

    I am a proud mama to my daughter, Charlotte.
  • What is your favorite season?

    I love the summer and fall. I particularly love the changes in nature between summer and fall.
  • What is your favorite quote?

    “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.” – Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
  • What’s hiding in your desk?

The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.