This is my 26th year working in education full-time. As a veteran educator, I've enjoyed teaching 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, as well as a few high school English electives. I'm passionate about creating resources for students that make rigorous learning fun, engaging, and interactive!
The vast majority of my career has been spent teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts, integrating Social Studies and Science as frequently as possible. My strengths include classroom management that maximizes learning, differentiation, and teaching literacy skills. In addition to classroom teaching, I have been a curriculum writer since 2012. I'm so passionate about providing high-quality resources for teachers and students around the country that I now write curriculum full-time, with occasional subbing or tutoring so my resources and classroom management stay relevant and practical and so that I stay engaged with students, who are still as energizing and inspiring as they were my first year of teaching.
Teaching is my heart, and I am especially passionate about literacy because I believe it is the foundation of all learning. When students are better readers and writers, their performance in every subject increases, and they are better able to think and to communicate their thoughts. Literacy is the most significant skill needed to function effectively in school, in the workplace, and in society. It is vital to a successful education, career, and quality of life. Literacy enables students to become active and independent thinkers and lifelong learners, which is empowering and sets students up for success in whatever endeavors they choose to pursue. When people are able to function at high levels of literacy, doors of opportunity are opened for them that would not be available otherwise -- and I want to help open as many doors as possible for students!
All learners have different and unique learning styles, so I strive to integrate a variety of teaching styles in my classes and curriculum, including standards-based resources, hands-on-learning, generous doses of collaborative projects, critical thinking activities, authentic learning opportunities, frequent dashes from my bag-of-tricks, and liberal pinches of humor.
I believe it's important for students to engage every day with learning materials, one another, and their teachers because active learning results in challenged, motivated, life-long learners! I work to continuously refine and adapt resources to reflect students' current needs, interests, and schema. I also strive to create resources that are rigorous, relevant, ready-to-use, and fun for students.
Co-presenter at Teachers Pay Teachers National Conference (2015-2017)
Member by Invitation of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Key Women Educators
Nominated by Administration for a University of Rochester Fellowship Program
Nominated for the Disney American Teacher of the Year Award
I've presented numerous professional development workshops for colleagues on effectively increasing literacy skills, integrating reading and writing with other disciplines, and classroom management that decreases off-task behaviors and increases learning.
In my desk drawer, I have a manila folder filled with meaningful notes, cards, and letters from former students, their parents, and teaching colleagues. Ryan jotted, "Why do you care about us so freakin' much?!?" Brandon wrote, "Thank you for helping me discover mysteries and mythologies -- I never knew I enjoyed reading so much until this year!" Lauren's mom noted, "Thank you for helping my daughter believe in herself and build her confidence. She fell in love with school and learning this year." This folder is one of my most treasured possessions and its contents represent my greatest teaching honors. Its contents never fail to make me smile, laugh, cry, and remember why I love teaching.
Masters Degree in Education and Human Development from SUNY Brockport, Summa Cum Laude (Literacy Specialist)
Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood and Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, Magna Cum Laude
New York State Certifications include:
Middle School (Grades 7-9)
Favorite Season: Back-to-School (who doesn't adore all those bins of school supplies and the scent of freshly-sharpened pencils?!?)
Favorite On-Line Store other than TpT: Amazon (I should own stock, really, for all the books I purchase.)
Favorite Brick & Mortar Store: Barnes & Noble (I could spend days wandering the aisles and perusing the books!)
Favorite Novel to Teach: The Giver by Lois Lowry (S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and R.J. Palacio's Wonder are close contenders.)
Favorite Genre: Historical Fiction (I've always loved bringing history alive for my students -- I adore it when a book does the same for me!)
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English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Creative Writing, Reading, Grammar, Specialty, Social Studies - History, U.S. History, Arts & Music, EFL - ESL - ELD, ELA Test Prep, Life Skills, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Character Education, Study Skills, Problem Solving, Short Stories, Writing, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Poetry, Autumn, Halloween, Winter, The New Year, Valentine's Day, Black History Month, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, Tools for Common Core, For All Subjects, Informational Text, Test Preparation, End of Year, Close Reading, Classroom Community