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Anastasia SamarasMy first teaching assignment was in 1970 as a volunteer tutor with an elementary age child living in an urban renewal housing project area, outside the doors of the University of Maryland, College Park where I was completing my undergraduate studies. My teaching philosophy at that time was that with support, all children can learn which is a major principle that still guides my teaching today. Little did I know then all that would transpire in my professional career. I would acquire outstanding educational and professional experiences over three decades of teaching, research, and service.

After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education Social Studies, I chose to teach in a newly, racially integrated, urban junior high school and later in urban high schools over a 10-year period. My experience as a teacher and parent of three children shaped my masters and doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park where I earned a Masters in Education in Human Development and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with specializations in Early Childhood and Teacher Education. I have maintained each of my educational credentials. Currently, I hold an advanced professional certificate from the State of Maryland in four areas: Social Studies, U.S. History, Early Childhood Education, and Elementary-Middle School Principal-Supervisor. At the university level, I have taught a plethora of courses in the areas of curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, developmental psychology, human growth and development, and professional development. Additionally, my specialization in collaborative research has been instrumental in my co-designing and team teaching of interdisciplinary courses. This life-long commitment to quality education encompasses teaching in junior and senior high schools, preschools, a university laboratory school, colleges, and universities. It also involves my development and recognition as a Vygotskian researcher and my steadfast belief that all children and teachers can learn with thoughtful scaffolding.