Nicole Simpson-Tanner was a teacher, mentor and teacher-researcher in the Intermediate group at Opal School. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Louisiana State University and an MAT from Portland State University. Her teaching career began in early childhood centers and preschools, continuing at Opal School as a student teacher under the mentorship of Susan MacKay in 2006. In that first year at Opal School she was exposed to many Reggio-inspired ideals that continue to shape her philosophy: a strong image of the child; environment as third teacher; the connection to nature; the hundred languages of children; and the power of children’s stories. As a teacher-researcher, she is interested in the power of stories, the importance of play, and the role of relationships and collaboration in the classroom among students and teachers. She is looking forward to looking more closely into the possibilities of this work in her current learning communities, as well how to share the work beyond the school’s walls.
In her spare time, she enjoys being an honorary Portlander (after 19 years!) with her husband (who is also a teacher), their 16 year-old daughter and delightful feline, Eleanor Button! Together they enjoy making things, exploring their wonderful city and beyond, everything about music and patiently waiting for basketball season.