Profile: Molly Mehl
Position: Tuition-Based Preschool Teacher, room 007
Written by: Winifred Curran, parent
For my three-year-old twins, playing school has but one essential ingredient- someone to play Miss Mehl. Miss Molly Mehl has been teaching preschool — now in Tuition-Based Pre-K (TBPK) in room 007 — here at Ravenswood School for five years and loves it. This may be because she is a self-described child at heart. But just as important is the fact that her teaching philosophy matches that of the school, with a focus on positive discipline and inclusion of the arts into all aspects of the classroom.
Miss Mehl is also a product of the supportive environment of Ravenswood School, having been mentored here by Kira Hamman when she was an assistant teacher in Pre-K. That experience taught her that you can’t change others; you can only change yourself. It is this type of problem solving that she teaches her young students. A basic tenet in TBPK is when something doesn’t work, you need to figure out how to mend it. This allows children to help with solutions and to learn from their peers. Truth be told, we could all use a little work on these skills. Molly shared that many of her friends wish there was a grown up version of “Bugs and Wishes” which goes a little something like this, “It bugs me when you _______. I wish that you would ________.” We use this frequently in my house. She also sometimes finds herself wanting to tell adults who are overreacting to, “take a balloon breath.”
Molly Mehl finds new and creative ways to teach these all-important skills. The opportunity to be creative is her favorite part of the job. (Her least favorite part is paperwork!) She described Pinterest as her best friend and enjoys developing new lessons and finding new books. The children in Pre-K keep Miss Mehl on her toes, a good thing for this dancer who still takes classes and performs in the area.
Miss Mehl is further developing her skills by studying for her Master’s degree in early childhood education with a focus on English as a Second Language (ESL) and American Sign Language (ASL) at North Park University. She is particularly interested in using ASL with hearing children having seen how well talking with your hands works in the classroom.
A native of St. Louis (and yes, that means she’s a Cardinals fan), Molly moved to Chicago after attending college at Ohio Wesleyan University. She considers herself a city person and feels blessed to be in Chicago and have a dream job here at Ravenswood School at the ripe old age of 27. The other important thing to know about Miss Mehl, at least as far as my twins are concerned, is that she has an orange cat named Pumpkin.