Imagine the Silk Road as an early stage in globalization and the Tao of Pooh as an ancient Chinese primer. Meera Patankar, MEd ’04 asks her sixth graders at Lakeside School in Seattle to follow those lines of thought. Sixth grade is a fantastic time of life, right on the edge. She finds her students to be curious and open-minded, ready to learn. What could be more exciting for a teacher who has always chased the open minds of children and often chased them around the world?
An embodiment of multicultural living, Meera has taught in a museum of archaeology and anthropology, in the American southwest, in East Coast cities, and through explorations abroad. Her social studies curriculum focuses on Asian studies. And she will soon co-lead a group of students to Northern India, where they will work with Tibetan refugees.
Meera admits that, after graduating from Penn and before coming to Antioch, she had no idea where in the world she would ultimately teach. She wanted the flexibility that certification would give her, but she also had a keen interest in developmental psychology. Surfing the web, she liked AUNE’s whole child approach, the variety of electives, the intimate classes, and the close-knit community.
“Antioch seemed like the only program that went beyond certification. It was focused on enjoying that time of being a student again. The experiential methods of teaching that the professors used put you in the shoes of your students, and made the program so much fun. It was the best place I could have gone for my master’s.” Says Meera.
Upon graduation, Meera set off for Seattle, sending out letters and resumes while packing for the move. “I just really rolled the dice, hoping for the best. And it happened. Two weeks after I arrive I got a call from Lakeside. This school is clued into the kind of sustainable teacher they want to have, and they nurture that, which feels rare. I think I ended up with the best job I could have possibly gotten. In a world of opportunities, that speaks volumes.”