I am a public school English teacher with 25+ years of experience in middle and high school classrooms in NY state. I have been given amazing opportunities to build and implement my original curriculum for the classes assigned to me and I am hoping to share that work here. My first teaching experiences were as a writing instructor in a high school writing lab. There I worked with remedial students and prepped them for state exams in both English and Social Studies. On the high school level,I taught English 11 and AP Literature before deciding to make the move to middle school where I taught English 7 and 8 to a diverse population.
Teaching is passive; learning is active. Creating lessons that allow kids to actively interact with the texts they read and with each other is something I am passionate about. I have found providing kids with opportunities for discovery requires planning and vision but it almost always results in high levels of engagement and student success.
I earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees with high honors. I was chosen as commencement speaker while I taught high school students. I also had the honor of having the yearbook dedicated to me. The middle school literary magazine I facilitated was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English.
You might say I took the scenic route into the classroom. As a lit major, my undergrad years were devoted close reading long before close reading was an educational buzz word. When I considered teaching, professors I respected steered me instead toward writing. I used my newly minted BA in English in journalism, but soon, found my way back to education through an MS in Teaching and I never looked back.
I am not sure what about me is that interesting. Like so many of you, I have had to find the work-life balance that often eludes us in education. When our kids were young, it was often a challenge to keep the grading English teachers must do from encroaching on family time. Fortunately, my husband was always supportive and we were able to make it work. I wish I knew then what I know now, but that is the nature of life, right?