About Mrs. Nilsen

Mrs. Emily Allen Nilsen moved from the Midwest to Portland with her husband, Andrew, to experience the beauty and joy that is Oregon and the Northwest. She grew up in a small farming community in Illinois and lived in Iowa for four years during her undergraduate education. Emily graduated with a BA with Honors in Elementary Education from Graceland University.

Emily student taught in Portland Public Schools in 2010-2011 while attaining her degree with 3rd graders. Afterwards, she explored her passion for the outdoors through her position with Northwest Regional ESD as an Outdoor School Field Instructor. She taught hundreds of 5-8th graders about the wonderful plant life of the Pacific Northwest.

From 2011 to 2014, Emily taught at Molalla River Academy, a small public charter outside in Molalla, OR. Through cultivating a love of reading and writing with a blended homeroom, I creating, developing, and implementing the 6-8th science curriculum, and all the challenges and rewards of teaching middle schoolers, she developed close relationships with parents, colleagues, and most importantly, her students.  The teaching staff and approach to curriculum design and student centered learning at MRA greatly impacted Emily’s teaching philosophy and approach to life long learners.

From 2014-2017, Emily and Andrew moved to Central American and worked as Teacher Trainers for Peace Corps Nicaragua in the city of Estelí. With a focus on empowerment and sustainability, she coached four Nicaraguan English public school teachers on best practices and communicative language learning. During this time she also earned a TEFL certificate through Peace Corps, certified by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington DC.  She strove to build connections between people and ideas, build relationships that engaged in cultural sharing, and build bridges between human experiences.

Emily believes in students, in their innate curiosity, creativity, and worth. She believes that students deserve to develop their talents and gifts through exploration, challenge, and support. She works continuously to create a safe and encouraging classroom culture and to expand her knowledge and skills as an educator.  And she is so excited to continue this journey of growth and discovery this coming year at Bridgeport Elementary.


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