Currently, I am the owner/director of Imagine Co. We create project based learning experiences for children aged 8-16. We encourage innovation and problem solving through inspired invention. Children are given the space to explore their own interests and engage their natural ability to ask questions. We want learning to be fun! Previously, I worked 15+ years as an instructor, Math Coach, Teacher Mentor, Lead Teacher, and Instructional Consultant in NY as well as South Florida. I taught Chemistry, Biology, and all levels of Mathematics in both high school and middle school settings. On occasion, I do speaking engagements promoting STEM education with a focus on middle school girls throughout the Netherlands. I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to effect real change. As teachers, we are eternally members of a learning community. And participating in a platform such as this, helps spark new ideas, share best practices, and remove any educational boundaries that may have limited us in earlier days. We now share in a worldwide community of educators, parents, and business leaders all working towards a common goal to celebrate child creativity!
A career change, leaving Veterinary Medicine and entering Education, was without a doubt the best decision I ever made! I was given a set of classroom keys, a science textbook, a "Good Luck" pat on the back and without a clue what to do, was placed in front of a classroom of 34 eager students. What happened then? I made our classroom operate quite similarly to how I ran my business. My "management position" allowed students the freedom to explore, to use their innate creativity to find solutions, and to add their tremendous talent towards their classroom responsibilities. They attended "classroom training" and were supported with student tutors throughout the year. Their classroom was entirely student-centered and I acted as a facilitator. Their learning took place with hands-on activities and projects and never with a traditional "chalk and talk - stay in your seat - test driven" environment. It goes without saying, classroom management was a priority for any learning to take place (or any effective teaching for that matter too). My teaching style helped to improve how my students learned, remembered information, reasoned, understood, and problem-solved. It imparted a love of learning and a cooperative environment. My students used their own tendencies of exploration, curiosity, communication, purposeful activity, manipulation, and self-perfection to propel themselves, happily and joyfully, as life-long learners.
My very first "shining teacher moment" came during the last 2 months of my first year teaching. I put in more hours for lesson planning than I ever did prepping for a surgical procedure! My struggle to develop lessons that incorporated student discovery and visual manipulatives exhausted me to no end. And if this day wasn't already demanding, my principal was seated in the back of the room for my 6th and final teacher observation. The groups worked with colored paper, markers and scissors to tangibly make the "area of a shaded region" come alive. I felt as if I were drowning as I walked from group to group only to see that look of confusion and fear when headlights hit a deer on a dark highway! But after what seemed like an eternity, one loud applause of success after another began to erupt from each of the 6 groups. And if that wasn't enough, one of the group leaders asked to demonstrate their findings to the whole class. At the end of class, my principal came to me not only with a satisfactory observation but with a complement that my "teaching practices helped bridge that intellectual gap many students have with abstract ideas." He also said he was pleased to see that my students were in complete control of their own learning and were actively engaged in collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and most importantly (to me), creativity. His complement made me feel so good! It reassured me that my decision to leave my former career was a good one!
* National Board Certification in Mathematics Adolescence and Young Adulthood Grades 7-12 (Active) * NY Teaching Certification in Mathematics 6-12 * Florida Teaching Certification in Mathematics 6-12 * NSF and MSP Tutor Leader working to design curriculum specific lessons and additional teacher resources * M.A. in Instructional Technology * B.S. in Biology * B.S. in Chemistry
* Top of my list is Traveling. I have traveled extensively and now live abroad in the Netherlands. I thrive on meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and tasting new cuisines! * Singing...While my mother originally intended me to be a doctor, my father secretly wished for a family opera singer. Needless to say, I entered the Veterinary field but also entertained my fellow staff members and clients while in surgery! Even today, I sing in a local choir and enjoy the occasional "hairbrush microphone" performance while singing in the shower! * Horseback-riding...I have been an English rider since I was 7 yo. I am quite spoiled to be able to ride in beautiful open fields and beach shorelines on a daily basis. * Crafts...I am the Queen of DIY (Do-It-Yourself). Give me a glue-gun and I'm off creating something wonderful! * Cake Decorating...Not only do I love to bake but I also love to decorate; both whimsical and intricate designs. Many times, it's for family events and special occasions but more recently for buying customers. It's labor-intensive but I love it! * Jeeping...I LOVE JEEPS! Put me behind the wheel and I'm searching for the next great adventure! Even better when I can find a mud hole! * The Beach...I love the sun, sand and ocean! You can always find me at the beach when I'm not at home. * And lastly, Laughing! It's infectious! It's rejuvenating! It's the best medicine on Earth! I love to laugh. If it means having "cheek pain" because of laughing too much then I'm ready for it! Go ahead ...make me laugh! :)