215 Ferris Avenue, East Providence, RI 02916 | 401-432-9940

We Are Wolf: Madeleine LaPlante

It’s the start of a brand new school year and along with welcoming new families and students, we’re also welcoming some incredible new additions to our faculty and staff! Over the next few months we’ll be introducing them to our community through our monthly We Are Wolf interview. First up is our new classroom teacher, Maddie LaPlante! Learn more about her below!

1. Can you briefly tell us about your background before coming to Wolf?

Before I stared at Wolf, I was in a long-term substitute position at North Smithfield Elementary School in a third-grade classroom. However, I just graduated last March, so this is really my first year full-time in a classroom from the start of a new school year!! But, I have three certifications, which meant I had to do three semesters of student teaching – so it feels like I’ve been in the classroom for MUCH longer! I did my elementary student teaching in third grade in Woonsocket, RI; my mild/moderate special education placement was in Cumberland, RI with kids a lot like our Wolf learners; and I did my severe/profound special education certification with some adorable little preschoolers in North Providence, RI. 

2. What inspired you to want to work in Special Education and with Complex Learners?

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and I’ve always loved working with people with exceptionalities, so it just made a lot of sense for me! My mom has also always worked in special education, so it’s something I’ve been around my whole life and developed a really deep understanding of. My mom also taught the severe/profound special education courses at Rhode Island College where I went, so I actually had to have her as a professor which was quite the experience! It can certainly be intense at times, but I love getting to make connections with people who might not have opportunities to connect with others easily. I just love getting to be that person for them. 

3. How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

I think the biggest components of my teaching style are structure and organization, paired with creativity. I absolutely need a well-structured classroom because I think students work best when there are routines for them to follow and expectations to meet. Deep learning is so much harder to achieve in an unorganized situation. But I also love to be creative. I’m constantly trying to think outside of the box and make connections that others might not immediately think of. I think it’s so fun to design instruction that is well-structured but still exciting and engaging! 

4. What’s your favorite thing about the Wolf School so far?

Just about everything at the Wolf School has been amazing so far! However, I think the best thing has to be the mindset of all the people here. Staff, families, and students alike have all been amazing in ways I haven’t seen in other places. There is an environment of support and innovation that just doesn’t exist everywhere else! I’m constantly in awe of the way everyone in the Wolf community thinks and I feel inspired by all the people around me. Being in a place where people are celebrated for being unique is definitely something special. 

5. Can you tell us about your favorite teacher from your childhood? 

My favorite teacher growing up was Mrs. Ferri in fourth grade. I remember thinking she was the most amazing teacher ever. Everything she did was fun, exciting, and thoughtful. In high school, I was able to connect with her and she was my senior project mentor. As a high school senior, I taught my first-ever lesson as a teacher to her fourth-grade class. After graduating college, I went back to work at that same elementary school where I attended and it was so surreal! I’m still in touch with Mrs. Ferri and she’s been such a great mentor to me on my teaching journey. 

Welcome to Wolf, Maddie! We are so thrilled to have you here and know that you will make an amazing impact on our students and families! To learn more about other Wolf Staff, read some of our past We Are Wolf interviews!

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