I was a child care site director for a YMCA School-Age Child Care program for 7 years, taught 3rd grade for 3 years, was a half-day literacy teacher (K-6) and a half-day German teacher (9-12) for one year. Then, I taught German, Spanish, and French at the High School Level. I have also started a GAPP-exchange program with my old high school in Germany; I have taken groups of students to Germany twice, and our next trip is planned for 2012. Our numbers have grown, so I am now teaching German full time. I have also been an adjunct instructor at a community college for the past 10 years, teaching classes in Early Childhood Education, including introductory and lab classes, Language and Cognition, Nutrition, Health, and Safety, Working with Families, Creativity, Curriculum, etc. On occasion, I have taught Early Childhood Education and Education classes for a private university, including undergraduate and graduate Educational Technology classes.
My teaching style is eclectic, integrating best practices and multiple intelligences. I believe that students are the driving force behind their own education, and that activities need to be relevant and student-driven. I teach using different types of activities, including art, music and movement, drama, writing, reading, cooking, technology, etc. I combine lecture, student presentations, individual work, partner work, and small group work. I believe it is important to give students choices and to make them responsible for their own learning.
The people who are the most important to me are my students. I take them seriously, but we also share stories and laugh together. Some of the children I had as 5- and 6- year olds in my day care groups or as 4th graders when I taught elementary are now in my high school language classes. One of them even took a college class with me! It feels like a family reunion! I'm looking forward to the day when one of them becomes a teaching colleague. The appreciation shown to me by my students is more important to me than any award or credential I have received. I did receive the Adjunct Instructor of the Month award from our local community college last year, though.
I have a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Liberal Studies with a minor in Education, as well as a M.A. degree in Education (Language, Literacy, and Culture). I hold a valid teaching license with endorsements in elementary education (K-6), German (K-12), Spanish (K-12) and Linguistically Diverse Education (K-12). I also hold a vocational credential for community colleges in the area of Early Childhood Education. I am currently enrolled in a certificate program for teachers of German as a foreign language through the Goethe Institute and the University of Munich.
I am a native speaker of German, born and raised in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. I studied German and English for two years at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, before moving to the United States in the early 90s. I visit my relatives in Germany every summer, so I stay aware of current events and changes in German society.