I have over 40 years experience as a teacher, starting with high school Drama and Spanish, then junior high ELA and Social Studies, and, finally, finding my niche teaching k-8 gifted. Most recently I have been a Gifted Instructional Coach, empowering teachers to meet the needs of their highly able students, and the last three years I've been the Gifted Services Coordinator, overseeing the gifted program at 34 elementary schools. I also teach college courses in teaching the gifted, differentiation, and creative and critical thinking to equip future teachers. While teaching gifted, I had the opportunity to pilot a new service model later adopted by the entire district and have also written curriculum (Shakespeare, Middle Ages, Space, Archaeology, Lewis Carroll, Tolerance, Strategic Thinking) later adopted for use in all 34 elementary schools.
Differentiation and choice are my super powers! I like to challenge my students to take responsibility for their own learning and tailor their assignments to their needs and interests. My room often looks like organized chaos, but everyone is doing exactly what he/she needs to be doing at that time. The classroom management is seamless and I don't need to stop instruction to redirect a student hardly ever. My expectations are very high, and the students take pride in their work and accomplishments. Class discussions are a huge component, with accountability, participation, and respect for diverse opinions In these ways, we create a learning community!
2006 Arizona Teacher of the Year Finalist -Arizona Education Foundation 2007 Most Outstanding Teacher - Ironwood High (student vote) Most Influential Teacher - Ironwood NHS, 1988-present Level 5 Career Ladders - highest level available, 1981-2009 (when program ended)
I was raised in Arizona and attended Phoenix College and ASU, earning degrees in Theater Arts, English Literature and Writing, Secondary Education, and a Masters of Special Education with an emphasis on Gifted. I hold both elementary and secondary teaching certificates and am highly qualified to teach ELA, Social Studies, gifted, theater, and Spanish. I'm a lifelong learner, who has taken a wide assortment of random classes to inform myself and/or to be better equipped to teach certain content. I believe that everything you learn will be useful at some point in life!
I am happily married to an aerospace engineer, and we have four grown children and seven adorable grandchildren. I enjoy travel, reading, theater (both on stage and in the audience), crafting and volunteering. "The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away." = D. Viscott