I grew up in River Vale, New Jersey. I lived there until I left to attend college at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. I graduated with honors four years later with a degree in elementary education and a concentration in early childhood education. During my college years, I taught an inclusive preschool class at a local day care center. By my senior year, I was promoted to an assistant director position. I left this job in September to begin my teaching career in Montgomery County, Maryland. In this district I taught a two/three combination for one year, and third grade for three years. I left after my fourth year to pursue a masters degree. I was awarded a full federal grant to attend the George Washington University. I attended school and taught in the District of Columbia for a year. I taught middle school and high school students with emotional disabilities. I returned to Montgomery County, Maryland in 1997 to teach a class of 4th and 5th grade students with emotionally disabilities. I moved back to New Jersey in the summer of 1998. I have been teaching in NJ since then! I taught the Transitional Kindergarten, then I moved to third grade and now I find myself teaching first grade.
My philosophy is simple. I believe all children have a natural curiosity and desire to learn. I further believe that it is my responsibility to tap into that desire. I begin the year by building community and helping my students understand that all children are teachable, that they all have the ability to succeed, and that learning today is the key to their success tomorrow. I spend the year empowering my students and building their self esteem. I am a "tough" teacher. I have high expectations for every child in my classroom. And I encourage them constantly to reach for the stars. My teaching style reflects my feeling that learning should be both fun and practical. I feel that everything I teach should impact my students' lives beyond the classroom. I also feel that reflection is essential to real learning. I integrate my curriculum, reinforce concepts through game like activities, give my students independence as learners when appropriate, and give my students opportunities to be creative. I create lessons that utilize visual, kinesthetic, and auditory methods of learning. I differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all ability levels in my classroom. I work diligently to make sure that children get what they need in terms of attention and instruction. To me, fair does not mean equal. Fair means that each child gets what he or she needs. Finally, I should say that I am a very sensitive teacher and I adore every child that walks through my classroom door. I seek to form relationships with my students and parents, so we can all forge forward as partners in learning. I am very approachable (at least I think so!) and wish to establish a family like atmosphere in my classroom. I want all my students to feel safe, comfortable, loved, respected, and successful
Finalist for Maryland First Class Teacher of the Year
For me, teaching is not just a job. Teaching is my passion and my career. I dedicate myself to furthering my education, staying current with "best practices," and giving back to my profession by getting involved in our district and in our state. I was the Science Coordinator for my school and a science pilot teacher which meant I tested out new curriculum. I am on the Math Leadership Team and I was on the Language Arts and Literacy Curriculum Team for years. I teach professional development classes for the district and I have done some work with the State Department of Education in standard setting for the NJASK. Some summers I co-teach a math class for teachers which is sponsored by Rutgers University.
If you are looking for something in particular for elementary age students/classrooms just let me know! I have hundreds of items I have made that I can post for sale or simply share. I just have not gotten around to uploading everything yet! Visit my website - www.westfieldnjk12.org/lbarretta OR HELP ME with my Blog....I have no idea how to get it going! http://barrettasbeehive.blogspot.com/