I started teaching in 1992, and since then I've only spent one year away from the profession. In that time, I've taught 4th and 1st grades, Remediation, ESL, Pre-K, Junior-K, and tutored K-8th grades. I'm headed back to full time teaching (I pray!) this fall, leaving a fantastic preschool job that I have loved for the past 8 years. I am so excited about TPT- as a buyer and as a seller. It really meets a need for teachers!
Offbeat, organized, eclectic, traditional, and fun. I love reaching the challenging student by finding a new pathway for his or her learning. I love that feeling you get when you roll forward with your classroom into new material, and the kids are beginning to lead the way. There just isn't anything as awesome as a healthy classroom community!
Every spring, I see the cohesive, family-like quality of my classes and grieve that they will move on, and I'll have to work so hard in the fall to recreate that feeling. Here is my shining teaching moment- when I realize sometime around mid-October that we have become the Wolfpack (my classes' nickname) and we are thriving as a caring learning community.
In the St. Louis area, I went to 1st-3rd grades in the Webster Groves school district, and 4th-12th in Ladue. During my senior year of high school, one of my teachers, Jeff Kopolow, complimented my work with children in a bully-awareness club. He suggested that I become a teacher, and so I went on to receive my BS in Education at Baylor University. I was able to thank him when I taught in Ladue years later.
During my 3rd year of teaching preschool, I realized that the only book my 4-5 year olds connected with in our science unit was a fictional story called, "Poor Pluto." It was a great launch pad into our solar system unit! But as I searched for additional literature to support science topics, I truly found none. The library is full of fantastic photography books for weather and volcanoes, and older kids have "Magic School Bus" books, but young children need a narrative, friendly approach to the big topics of science. I created my Lizard Science series to fill the void and meet the need for introductory science literature to help young children respond to big concepts like Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc.