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Teacher Feature: Anne Cyr

For Anne Cyr, a 4th grade teacher at Horizons at Lancaster Country Day School (LCDS), returning to the program each year has made Horizons much more than just a job. She has been teaching at Horizons at LCDS since the program began in 2015, and along the way, it has grown to feel like home. Anne shares, “For me, it has been a family environment. [It] kind of reminds me of how every summer, you go back and see your family and have these traditional experiences that you always do - that’s how Horizons feels.”

Coming back each summer to familiar students is unusual for teachers, who typically don't have much contact with students after they've moved on from their classroom. At Horizons, teachers are able to return year after year, and remain part of students' experience as they grow through the program. Even once students move onto the next grade, teachers like Anne have continued opportunities to maintain their relationships and continue learning with past classes. Anne illustrates this long-term engagement well: “I always knew that relationships were really important, but because I only had students for one year during the school year, I didn’t realize how important they could be. Now that I’ve had the same students for five summers, we know each other better than I know some of my family members. I anticipate what they’re thinking, I plan very much for them. So, I’ve been able to maintain and grow my relationships with my students.”

And, it isn't just relationships that keep students and teachers coming back - the joy of learning together in the Horizons environment creates ongoing excitement and curiosity. With the ability to tailor curriculum directly to her students, Anne is able to address needs and interests while also gathering input from her 4th graders about what they'd like to learn. “Most of the day, I am with these fifteen kids. And they are constantly asking me ‘what are we gonna learn about next summer? What about two years from now? When we’re in 8th grade, can we do this?” They already see the future and they are invested and they trust me. And I have that same relationship with them. I am invested with them and I love talking about what we might do next year or what we might do for reunion two years from now, and planning together.”