I have 17 years of urban teaching experience in both adult education and middle school with above average success in motivating disadvantaged students to reach their academic potential.
Middle schoolers have energy—a lot of energy. And most middle schoolers spend too much of their day sitting down. When I have classes that start after physical education periods or after we’ve gone for a walk, my middle schoolers are almost always more focused. So I’ve made it a point to develop highly motivational and rigorous lessons that get middle schoolers up and moving. Yes, these methods benefit kinesthetic learners, and yes, in a microscopic way, I’m helping to combat childhood obesity. But really, I do these types of “get up and move” lessons because kids enjoy them, and middle schoolers need them. My most popular “get up and move” model is The MAZE where students work in pairs (normally in the hallway) to crack a code while being chased by a remote control car operated by a lucky student. (I know this sounds like chaos, but with a bit of procedure practice in September, The Maze really does work. And there is always the fact that students love The Maze and want to keep the privilege of going into it.) I have used The Maze to teach everything from literary elements, to grammar, to writing techniques. Getting through middle school can often feel like cracking a code in a scary maze. (I know I felt like that back in the 80’s!) This fun and rigorous activity can help students navigate through that middle school right of passage. Don’t worry: each Maze comes with explicit instructions. p.s. I also work a lot with multiple intelligences!
Connecticut Writing Project’s “Gold Certificate” for five student writers in one year honored in the Connecticut Student Writers Magazine, 2015 and 2016 District Inspiring Writers Award, 2016 State of Connecticut Adult Educator of the Year, 2008 Upward Bound’s Teacher Appreciation Award, 2000
University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut Sixth Year, Curriculum and Instruction, May 2015 Master of Arts in Education, May 2001 Bachelor of Arts in English, Magna Cum Laude, May 1999
Back in the early 90's, I served four yeras in the United States Navy.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Writing-Expository, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Arts & Music, Music, Computer Science - Technology, Drama, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Instructional Technology, Short Stories, Writing, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Poetry, Dance, Earth Day, Informational Text