Big Kids Teachers
I bring to Hilltop a strong desire to instill confidence and a sense of curiosity in the children I work with. I believe creating a safe learning environment is crucial for children to feel comfortable in taking risks to voice their ideas, ask questions, and collaborate with other students and teachers. In addition, I bring a wealth of experience from my degrees in early childhood education and studio art and almost ten years working with children from preschool age to school age, successfully incorporating my values around co-learning and emergent curriculum. During this time I have been able to build strong relationships with families that support the growth of their children, even after they leave my classroom.
I manage Hilltop’s professional development Institute, including coordinating professional visits, trainings, coaching, and other opportunities for collaboration between Hilltop educators and the larger early learning community.
I came to Hilltop in the Spring of 2010 as an intern in the Beach Room. Shortly thereafter, I also began work in the Big Kids program. In the fall of 2014, I shifted out of the classroom and into a new role as the business manager of Hilltop’s professional development Institute. In my time at Hilltop, I have learned much from its very unique environment, educational philosophy, approach to working with children, and, of course, community. And in my role with Hilltop’s Institute, I am honored to have the opportunity to build systems for sharing that learning with the larger early learning community. I have a B.A. in Children, Youth & Family Studies and am working on my M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.
My name is Philip and I’m a man of many interests. I love spending time out in nature, exploring new places, playing music, helping things grow, and speaking Spanish, to name a few. People often tell me I’m really “chill,” but I might surprise you sometimes with a zany outburst I’m excited to work in the Big Kids program because I love the great questions that kids ask and the enthusiasm that they have for life.
I have been in the field of early learning and primary education since 1982, with forays into nursing, botany and horticulture along the way. I have certifications as an Elementary School Counselor, Master Gardener, and P-3 Executive Leader. I’ve lived in Seattle since the beginning of time (1984) and still visit my family in Idaho a couple times a year. I have a husband, a dog, a garden, and a lot of unfinished knitting projects.