Tots 2 Assistant Guide
My name is Ben Gikow and I moved from Andover, Massachusetts, to Austin, Texas, three years ago. I am excited about entering my fourth year at Athena and second as an assistant in the Tots 2 classroom. My life as an educator started when I was 13 as a Taekwondo instructor program where I taught people martial arts for four years. Guiding Taekwondo classes was a fun puzzle on its own in that it was one of the first times I realized how differently people learn. From there I moved on to working as a camp counselor for the summer programs of AYS (Andover Youth Services) where I organized games and got kids involved in projects they might not otherwise invest in; it was an exciting adventure of companionship and fun.
The next step in my life was college. I went to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a major in Visual Art Education and a minor in ceramics. I have always loved the freedom of exploring an artistic medium and now I have the skills to help learners experience the same wonderful thing.
After college I worked at Shed Children’s Campus in Andover, a Reggio Emilia inspired after school program for children ranging from toddlers through grade school age. I found the teaching philosophy to be efficient and adaptable to all learning types since Reggio also focuses on the child being the guide for learning. After moving to Austin, I then joined the Athena team where I’ve been worked as an After School Support Guide and now as a Tots Assistant Guide. I am ready to help the little scientists, explorers, and learners of Athena take their discoveries to the next level. I look forward to meeting you all!