I began my teaching career when I was five. Every afternoon I lined up my dolls in front of my mini blackboard and harangued them about vocabulary. I have taught, written, and coached public speaking and debating in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. I have mostly taught ELA to grades 6-12, but also creative writing classes, and public speaking and debate classes. I have taught AP students bound for the Ivy Leagues and Oxford and Cambridge, and have also taught students with significant challenges, such as dyslexia and Aspergers. I have taught in credit summer courses in France, Spain, Portugal, England, and Scotland. Combining my love of teaching with my travel addiction made those summers unforgettable. I also write and mark for SSAT tests.
I agree with Dr Shimi Kang that “Play is the superfood of learning.” I try to combine rigor with fun, preferably using several activities each lesson. When alumni come back to visit, they never fondly reminisce about the punctuation exercises or vocabulary quizzes. It is usually my educational games, like Macbeth musical chairs, or my absurd speaking topics that they become dewy eyed about.
Every time students leave my classroom with broad grins on their faces saying “Thanks for the lesson," that is a shining moment for me. My proudest external achievements occurred when my students won the high school World Individual Public Speaking and Debating Championships in 2004 (Colorado), 2006 (Connecticut), and 2007 (Cape Town).
My degrees are from the United Kingdom; I didn't cross the pond until I was 25. I have a BA (First Class) from the University of Nottingham, an MA in English from the University of Warwick, and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Durham.
I have taught at the same school for 33 years!
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Social Studies - History, Civics, Arts & Music, Drama, EFL - ESL - ELD, ELA Test Prep, Life Skills, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Professional Development, Character Education, Problem Solving, Short Stories, Writing, Oral Communication, Reading Strategies, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Poetry, Halloween, Winter, The New Year, Valentine's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, For All Subjects, Summer, Informational Text, End of Year, Close Reading, Women's History Month, Classroom Community