Edmunds Middle School Burlington, VT Social Studies Teacher August 2015-Present • Presented at the Inclusive Strategies Conference. • Teamed to redesign the professional development practices of the Burlington School District. • Collaborated with a team to design the personalized learning plan process and requirements for all Middle School in Burlington Public Schools. • Led a district wide teacher workshop on the implementation of Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) • Part of Burlington School District proficiency based grading redesign team. Thomas W. Pyle Middle School Bethesda, MD World Studies Department Chair/Content Specialist August 2014-June 2015 • Developed and delivered World Studies professional development in a large, diverse public school. Example topics include: 1) student-centered World Studies curriculum, 2) the Understanding by Design model of unit planning, and 3) historical thinking. • Planned and facilitated department meetings. • Supervised and evaluated the teaching of the World Studies department. • Mentored the development of new teachers. • Served as a model classroom and teacher for student-centered instruction for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). • Developed a student-driven interdisciplinary social action project using Blogger and GoFundMe. • Served on the Instructional Leadership Team and Focused Instructional Team and participated in the Observing and Analyzing Training (OAT) course. Center City Public Charter Schools, Capitol Hill Campus Washington, DC Middle School Team Leader August 2010-July 2012 • Evaluated the instructional practices of middle school teachers across all content areas. • Conducted interviews of prospective teachers. • Developed and shared authentic Social Studies assessments to be used at all campuses. • Led an initiative and implemented changes to align the school day with middle school philosophy. • Created the middle school schedule and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Kapolei Middle School Kapolei, HI 7th grade Social Studies Department Chair June 2006-July 2010 • Led a standards-based grading initiative in our school. • Designed and a shared standards-based curriculum with the 7th grade Social Studies department. • Served as a member of the Student Community Council. TEACHING EXPERIENCE Edmunds Middle School Burlington, VT Social Studies Teacher August 2015-Present • Courses taught: 7th/8th Grade Ancient World History and 7th 8th Grade United States History. • Created a proficiency based scope and sequence for the 7th/8th grade Social Studies Team. • Designed and implemented a team wide student-driven independent project. • Integrated technology (e.g. Nearpod, Classkick, Kahoot, Explain Everything). • Differentiated curriculum for multiage classroom. Thomas W. Pyle Middle School Bethesda, MD United States History/Science Teacher August 2012-June 2015 • Course taught: 8th grade U.S. History, 8th grade Science: Investigations in Earth Space Systems. • Integrated technology in the U.S. History curriculum (e.g. Google Chrome apps, iMovie). • Created standards-based inquiry model of instruction. • Collaborated on the creation of project-based common assessments. • Researched the impact of 1) student discourse on student learning, and 2) choice on student engagement. Center City Public Charter Schools, Capitol Hill Campus Washington, DC Middle School Social Studies Teacher August 2010-July 2012 • Courses taught: 6th grade Geography, 7th grade Ancient Civilizations, 8th grade U.S. History • Developed comprehensive standards-based unit plans for all subjects taught. Kapolei Middle School Kapolei, HI Tenured Social Studies Teacher, 7th grade June 2006-July 2010 • Courses taught: 7th grade Hawaiian History and Pacific Island Studies. • First Social Studies teacher to pilot standards-based instructional model at school. • Collaborated with a team for four years to implement interdisciplinary units and an advisory curriculum based on middle school philosophy. • Began a weekly after-school tutoring program. Farmington Alternative High School Farmington, MI Social Studies Teacher, grades 9-12 August 2005-June 2006 • Courses taught: American Studies, Civics, American Government, U.S. History, Economics, Psychology, and Geography. • Winner of the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence. • Designed and differentiated curriculum to serve at-risk learners . Ann Arbor Public Schools Ann Arbor, MI Curriculum Designer June 2005-August 2005 • Created a middle school Social Studies curriculum designed to teach writing and reading in the content area. • Developed expertise in the Writing Workshop model.
Student Centered Rigorous and Above All Fun! The purpose of education is to improve the lives and futures of our students and our community. Education is opportunity. Education gives people the academic and social tools necessary to see opportunity and to strive for it. Creating better, more informed citizens with the ability to make appropriate decisions for our present and future community. My role as an educator is to guide each student to the mastery of a set of skills, or grade-appropriate benchmarks. Since every student enters my classroom with a different background, the route and supports needed for the students to meet and exceed these expectations may be different. It is my responsibility to create the supports necessary to assure that each individual student is able to achieve mastery. Qualities of an Outstanding Educator I believe that outstanding educators have 1) high expectations, 2) supportive classrooms, 3) strong connections with student families, and 4) a passion for education and their subject area. High expectations are achieved by creating a benchmark-driven curriculum that uses formative assessments to drive instruction and summative assessments to measure student proficiency. The teacher must provide multiple opportunities for revision to demonstrate progress. To ensure that learning takes place, a quality teacher must have strong management skills, consistently using logical consequences for those students who disrupt the learning community. Lastly, I believe that an outstanding educator must have a genuine passion for education and a desire to continue to grow as a teacher. They must love what they do and practice this enthusiasm in their classrooms and in their professional learning community. Curriculum Design Philosophy I believe in the backward design method of curriculum design. When I design my units of study I begin with the benchmark and look at what the students should be able to do by the time the unit of study is finished. In other words, what are their learning goals? Based on this learning goal, I design a summative assessment that would acceptably demonstrate mastery learning of the benchmark. I am careful to build in choice into my assessments and understand that each student should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of that learning goal differently. Because of this, a visitor to my classroom will notice that final projects look very different per student because, while they are working on the same skill at an equivalent rigor, each student is allowed an opportunity to show what they know through a medium that matches their interests and strengths. Classroom learning goals are also used to drive my daily lessons and formative assessments. I design my learning activities to reach multiple intelligences—movement, sharing, presentation, problem solving, discussion, debate, drawing, etc.---giving access to the material to all different types of learners. Through my formative assessments, I am able to get a quick glimpse of student progress on a daily basis. I believe that formative assessments are the building blocks of learning and teaching. For the learners, formative assessments function as the individual pieces necessary to complete a summative assessment. For the educator, they are the primary source of data used to guide instruction. Formatives allow teachers to better focus on the learning needs of the class, as well as individual students. Instructional Philosophy: How do students learn? Students Must Solve Complex Problems I believe that an adolescent's brain is naturally inquisitive and to take advantage of that aspect of development, I create lessons in which they have to solve problems. I will give them pieces of a puzzle and they will have to try and fill in the gaps and make educated guesses to the correct answer. This makes every student in the classroom an active learner, shifting the student out of the passenger’s seat where he/she is accustomed to simply receiving information and into the driver’s seat where he/she must hypothesize and create his/her own ideas. As a result, students are highly motivated to share their ideas with the class and participate actively in class discussion about the topic at hand. Classrooms Need to Foster Teamwork and Discussion I believe that humans (especially adolescents) are highly motivated to share their ideas and talk with their peers. Rather than fighting their social nature, I embrace it in my classroom as part of my instructional strategies. To facilitate discussion and teamwork, my classroom is set up in pods and at each of theses pods is a team of students. Each of these teams has roles (jobs) that need to be performed for the team to be successful. These roles are based on real world jobs—project manager, technical coordinator/graphic designer, administrative assistant, and press secretary---and are rotated on a weekly basis to assure that each student has the chance to practice the various roles. Work Must be Relevant Relevance is a very important part of learning—not until a student can connect the concept to their lives do they gain ownership of the material. I have found that efforts to bring relevance into the classroom are rewarded by focused and actively engaged students. All of my summative assessments require students to use real life skills, applying these skills to the exploration of current world topics in politics, economics, and civics. History is made relevant by connecting it with similar or relating current issues. Discussion in my classroom challenges students to take history and global issues and explore how these events connect to their lives on a local and personal level. Work Must be Rigorous Students need to be challenged. Teachers must have high expectations and students need to have rigorous assessments based on difficult concepts that actually make them think. Students in my classroom are challenged to explore multiple sides of a single issue before forming their own opinion. Projects require students to analyze complex issues, both past and present, especially those in which there is no clear “right” or “wrong” answer and bring together what they have learned in class to create a new understanding.
• Recipient of 21st Century Instructional Leader Award. • Winner of the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence. • Praxis II Recognition of Excellence Award. • AMLE presentation: Put the middle school critic to use! A critical literacy framework for the ELA and Social Studies classroom. • Model classroom/teacher for student-centered instruction for Montgomery County Public Schools.
University of Michigan
Yet to be added
English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Specialty, Social Studies - History, Ancient History, Government, U.S. History, World History, Geography, Religion, Critical Thinking, Economics , Writing, Asian Studies, Writing-Essays, Informational Text, Close Reading