From a young age, Courtney Paulus knew she wanted to be an elementary educator. However, due to her passion and aptitude for math and science courses in high school, she was encouraged by her teachers to pursue a degree in engineering, which she completed at North Carolina State University where she majored in chemical engineering with a concentration in sustainable engineering. Although Courtney loved problem-solving and the associated challenges, she knew in her heart that she still wanted to teach. Therefore, she pursued her Master’s degree in childhood education at State University of New York at Buffalo. There, she felt like she was able to combine the best of both worlds. Through research-based programs, she worked with teams at Fisher-Price, children’s museums, and the Early Childhood Research Center to explore, practice, and implement student-centered and play-based education techniques in various types of educational settings.
Throughout her studies, Courtney focused on implementing culturally relevant and responsive student-centered instruction for diverse classrooms. She worked at a variety of high-needs schools where she aimed to implement active learning experiences that held students to high expectations and gave them opportunities to excel. These placements helped Courtney in her self-discovery as an educator as she fought to elevate the voices of all students. Her love for her career and her students challenged her to push her boundaries even more. As a lover of learning, travel, new cultures, and new experiences, Courtney decided to work internationally. She now lives in Lisbon, Portugal, and teaches Grade 5 at TASIS. Previously, she taught middle school math. After school, she works with students in IGCSE and IB math and science courses and is Category 1 and 2 certified in IB. Courtney also tutors students for standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, ISEE, and SSAT.
Courtney believes that teaching in such a diverse and exciting environment has allowed her to continuously reach her goals as an educator and private tutor. She takes care to exemplify uniqueness and individuality so that students are inspired to be introspective and identify their true passions. Her drive to implement an inclusive and empowering curriculum is her main reason for wanting to teach, and she has been constantly challenged and propelled to do so in this position. When working with children from around the world, Courtney knows that it is imperative to capitalize on each individual’s background knowledge while ensuring that equal access and understanding of the new content is granted. By doing so, Courtney aims to successfully provide an empowering education for her students that closes opportunity and achievement gaps that can exist in such an international population.
In her spare time, Courtney enjoys exploring her new home, traveling, surfing, and playing volleyball on the beautiful beaches of Portugal.