Nikki Bender

6th & 7th Grade Social Studies


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Nikki Bender teaches 6th and 7th grade social studies.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her Master of Science: Reading and Mathematics Specialist from Walden University.  She received her middle grades endorsement from Tennessee Technological University.

Nikki lives with her husband and four children and considers Tennessee her home, though she has lived in several states (including Alaska) and in Okinawa, Japan.  She has been a teacher for 14 years. The Benders love to vacation together and are involved in their church activities, scouting and martial arts. Nikki also enjoys drama/theater, art, playing the piano, singing, crafting, reading, sewing, gardening and learning how plants are used for various purposes.  

Professionally, Nikki enjoys creating and mapping curriculum.  She likes to integrate the arts into the classroom in different ways, including using Actor's Toolbox, which integrates the arts, behavior regulation, self-reflection and mindfulness.  

“I lean towards the constructivist theory of education, so the more hands-on, project based learning we can create, the better.”

She relates to this quote by Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn,” and to this quote by Josef Albers:  “Education is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”

Nikki chose Ivy because of its unique opportunities for learning, where, she says, “There is a place for everyone,” and where the world is the classroom.