Anja, pronounced AnYa, grew up here in Vancouver, Washington and has been working with children since she was a local teen babysitting for her neighbors and playing music since she was a child taking piano lessons and playing the flute in marching band.
She began teaching preschool as a volunteer on Sunday mornings at a local church, eventually working as their nursery attendant and childcare coordinator for services and events. During her school years she babysat and tutored on weekday afternoons, evenings, and weekends, dedicating her time to working with children and especially children with challenging behaviors.
After graduating from Prairie High School and Clark College as a Running Start student with her Associate’s degree, she spent a year in Germany as an Au Pair for a host family caring for four children, before she returned to Vancouver to start working at Mini Mozarts’ Preschool and continue her tutoring and childcare work. While teaching at Mini Mozarts’ Preschool, she embraced combining music and early education and flourished while earning her degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies: Teaching & Learning from the University of Washington, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. Ready for another adventure, and interested in immersing herself in different languages and cultures, she spent a year in Barcelona as an english tutor Au Pair for a family with two children.
Anja enjoys all kinds of activities, appreciating local live music, exploring nature outside, and commuting by bicycle, when she has the time. Her family being from Europe has inspired her interests in different languages and travelling, and she hopes to explore many other places in the future.
Anja is excited to join the Gardner School team this year as the Music Teacher for Tum Tum, Mazama, Kalama, and Loowit, as well as the Early Childhood Aftercare Teacher.
Music class is a fun way to engage all domains of learning and bring them together in harmony while exploring the science and art of music and learning math and literacy skills to break down and organize the sounds that make the noise and music around us. Students will gain exposure and experience with many different kinds of music relating to their thematic studies, as well as have opportunities to create and share their own music with each other and the school, in a compassionate and encouraging environment.
Anja is committed to leading an aftercare program for the preK students at Gardner School that supports students after their day in class by providing a nurturing environment where young children’s needs are met and they can follow their interests and build on their learning.