I've taught 4th grade (all subjects) for nine years and sixth grade (English Language Arts) for two years as well as 3rd and 5th grade summer school for five years. As of the end of the 2010-2011 school year, I have a total of ten years teaching experience. The age group and content I teach are both VERY exciting as they provide me personal and professional growth opportunities while building relationships. Rewarding.
I'm a highly visual, auditory, and tactile learner....thus my style of teaching reflects this. Teaching reading/language arts are by far my favorites but my students might consider SS my favorite given how we act out American history as we learn it. It wouldn't be unusual to see the class dressed in colonial wear as we put Anne Hutchinson on trial or to see us paying taxes (w/ bingo chips) as we learn about the triangular trade routes or even standing on desk tops shouting "No Taxation Without Representation!" ..... before the north & south could reunite, the class was split in half and they debated issues until they reached a compromise. Learning becomes intrinsically motivating when the students have a vested interest. I try to teach the learner, not the content; therefor my number one goal is to make learning personally relevant to each child. Tough order, but I'm trying! Children have to have a vested interest in what they are learning in order to be intrinsically motivated to learn. When the learning becomes personal to them, they ask more questions and probe even further on their own than I could ever push them. I WANT them to wonder about everything! My best ideas and teaching come to me as a result of what the children want to know. I have a great deal of autonomy in teaching the way I am best suited and my students have a great deal of room to be inquisitive and persue their interests. I believe in teaching the learner, teaching the reader, teaching the thinker - NOT teaching the text. The text is simply a resource. By teaching children how to think, they can think for themselves. By teaching them how to learn, they can become lifelong learners. By teaching students how to be a good reader, they can become lifelong readers and love every minute of it! I get excited about learning, and I explicitely model it for and with the learners! Charts - Charts - Charts. One thing they learn by the end of the year is that I do not have all of the answers, but they have the resources and opportunities available to them to make informed decisions and seek out their own answers. I prefer to be their guide or facilitator.....even allow them to bounce questions off of me and teach them to participate in group discussions that mirror real life. I am a HUGE fan of Kagan Cooperative Learning structures! It's one of the best week-long professional development opportunities that I've ever participated in and didn't know I needed! It's a perfect marriage when blended with Learning Focused Schools strategies.
Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC) Student of the Year 2000
I received my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Columbus State University in 2001 I earned my Master of Education in Foundations of Education from Troy State University in 2006
I LOVE reading (both leisure and purpose filled-information driven) and have a passion for it that I try to pass on to my students. I do a great deal of educational research reading in an effort to continuously grow as an educator.