I have taught in the public school system either as a full-time or part-time teacher since 2004. The majority of my teaching experience has taken place in schools with a high population of at-risk students. Many of the students that I have worked with over the years have come from low-income families, abusive or neglectful backgrounds, or from families who are new to the country and do not speak English at home. I have taught in third and fourth grade classrooms in the past but my current position is in a STEM lab, three days a week. Along with teaching around 400 students a week in a special area setting, I am also our school's science teacher lead and school garden coordinator. It's quite a bit to squeeze into a three day work week! I made the decision to go from a full-time to a part-time position after my daughter was born. I taught full-time during her first year and I hated having to be away from her so often. At the end of that year, I stepped out on faith and turned in my resignation. I worked as a substitute teacher that school year until I walked into the right school at the right time in December of that year. The school that I was subbing at that day was looking for a part-time teacher to help assist with a new schedule that they were implementing. It was a position that was not guaranteed past the remainder of the year but I gladly applied and accepted the offer. Within just a few weeks, I was back to teaching in a stable role that also allowed me to be home with my daughter more. I was then offered the opportunity to stay in a job share situation for a third grade classroom the following year and then I moved into my current STEM Lab position a year and a half after starting at Minors Lane Elementary in Louisville, KY. It's been an exciting journey where I have grown as an educator, gained some wonderful friendships, and met some amazing children. In addition to teaching in a public school, I am also a homeschool mom! I have been homeschooling since October, 2012. I plan, organize, and gather materials for my children to learn at their own pace. My first grader is currently reading on a fourth grade level and doing second grade math! My fourth grader is reading on a fifth grade level and frequently spends times in self guided learning, searching the internet to learn about something new that she read about. She then creates a project (completely on her own and from her own ideas) and shares it with the rest of us. It's amazing to see such curiosity and self-guided learning take place. Of course she still has to complete her other subjects during the day too but her school day is often extended by her choosing simply because she loves learning! I am able to homeschool and teach in a public school because I have an amazing support group. My children go to my mom's house on the days that I work and they complete their school work with her. They also attend a co-op group one day a week for 10 weeks each semester where they get the opportunity to take classes with other children.
I strongly believe that students learn best when they are engaged in guided learning where they make discoveries and complete hands on activities to support their learning. I love to read and think that every child should have the opportunity to fall in love with books. I prefer activities over worksheets but know that there is always a time and place for independent work as well. I believe in assessment that drives instruction, otherwise, it's a complete waste of time.
2012-2013 Teacher of the Year for my school
Spalding University, Louisville, KY 2000 - 2004 Undergraduate Degree in Elementary Education Endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language Walden University, 2008 - 2010 Graduate Degree in Elementary Literacy Education
I am married with two wonderful children! In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors! Hiking, kayaking, gardening, visiting our local zoo, and playing with my children are among my favorite outdoor activities. I also have a love of books and can be found most nights, sitting up way past my bedtime, enjoying a good book.