Natalie Vera

Assistant Head of Middle School
How long have you been at Crescent?
I have been teaching language arts, math, science and social studies at Crescent since 2005.
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I have always been involved with children. I was a lifeguard and a swim instructor in my early teens. I was also a camp counsellor, leading 14-day canoe trips through Killarney Provincial Park. Seeing the little campers achieve goals they didn't think they could was inspiring and amazing to facilitate. My love for teaching began then. 
Describe a significant experience in your career.
In New Zealand, I taught students who were mostly Maori, in a low socio-economic community. It was fascinating learning about their culture.
What is your philosophy of education?
Over the years I have realized I not only love teaching, but I also enjoy new challenges and I am constantly looking for new opportunities to grow professionally. I have endeavored to push myself to tackle challenging roles throughout my teaching career with the intention of developing myself as an educator and as a person. I believe in presenting subjects in a way that catches my students’ interest, clarifies difficult topics and leads the boys through complex areas, and in putting knowledge into context so that it has relevance. I view myself primarily as a facilitator of learning, rather than as an expert who simply delivers information to students.
Career Highlights
  • Teaching career began in 2004; joined Crescent School faculty in 2005
  • Earned Graduate Diploma of Primary Teaching and Learning from Christchurch College of Education (New Zealand) and Masters of Education from OISE, University of Toronto.
  • Honoured with a Certificate of Achievement in the 2020 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM
  • Presented at IBSC conference in 2007 and George Briggs Technology Symposium in 2008
  • Contributed to Relational Teaching study conducted by Dr. Michael Reichert (Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives) and Dr. Joseph Nelson (Swarthmore College)
  • Co-authored the Relational Teaching Strategies Handbook with Dr. Sandra Boyes
  • Google Certified Innovator, 2016
  • Co-curricular activities at Crescent include running the Lower School’s Maker Space Club, Peer Tutoring, Math Contest Prep Club and Student Leadership Council, and coaching the track-and-field team.