Hello, I am Mabry Agnew. You may remember me from the Employee Spotlight on Brendan Agnew. I am the lead teacher of the Adventurers classroom, which I helped to open in early 2014. This class has been one of the big adventures in my life ever since. About a year ago, my biggest adventure arrived on the scene: my daughter Marian Agnew, who is currently next door in the Wanderers classroom.
Family is the core of my life, but I have several families. There’s my immediate family Brendan, Marian, and my adoptive sister Ms. Robin (from the Troopers classroom). We all live together in a little brick house with two cats and a greyhound. There’s my extended family (Dad, little brother Michael, the best in-laws anyone ever had, an assortment of aunts, uncles, and cousins). There’s my Middle Earth family, my AOA family (more on that later), plus a few other friends who absolutely count as family. All of these people helped me to weather the loss of my mom four years ago, which is still a very fresh heartache.
Outside of my working hours, I am always busy. I read (a lot), write (less than I would like), and cook (as creatively as I have time and energy for). The other hobby about which I am passionate is performance. Both my parents were/are theater people, and I was infected with a dramatic streak from birth. These days I fulfill this passion through working with the Arthurian Order of Avalon, a local educational and performance group. This past year, I directed the chessboard, but most years I perform on it or help to write the script.
My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University (with a semester at the University of Edinburgh). I have a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Life led me in a different direction, however, and after a year working in Middle Earth’s infant room, I sought out more education in child development, completing my Certificate of Mastery online through OSU-OKC.
My perspective on child development is best summed up by the Donald Barthelme quote, “The distinction between children and adults, which is probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom of a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.” Working with infants and young toddlers, the most important thing I can do to help children learn and grow is to give them that love.
As a teacher, my goal is that the children who move on from my room succeed. I am helping to build the foundations they need to do amazing things. (I absolutely believe that a child I have taught will one day build a rocket to Mars. I won’t know which of them until they do it.) As a parent, I hope to raise a child who is braver than I am. Finally, as an individual, I would really like to write a best-selling book and never have to worry about money again.