I am a first grade teacher in southeast Michigan. Prior to 1st grade, I taught 10 years in third grade. Although I thoroughly enjoyed teaching 3rd, my heart has always longed to teach the younger grades and I this year I seized the perfect opportunity. 1st grade is where I am meant to be! I have also had short-term teaching experiences in pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade during my undergrad and graduate courses during the completion of my early childhood degree. Much of my teaching philosophy has been sculpted by those rewarding experiences of watching children learn through play.
I try to design my teaching around the idea that children learn best through play and exploration. Like a good game, learning should be challenging and motivating, yet also FUN! I encourage movement, discussion, creativity, exploration, and discovery among my young learners. It can definitely be a struggle to make time for "fun" in today's teaching climate, but it's a crucial part of real learning. I design my worksheets and activities to be inviting to the eyes, easy to understand, and engaging for kids (and their teachers.) I absolutely LOVE teaching reading and writing to children. I teach reading in a variety of ways; guided reading and CAFE strategies in small groups during daily 5 rounds, carefully chosen read alouds, readers response journals, etc. I teach writing using a workshop model and hold writing conferences to assist individuals and groups of writers. I use mentor texts to model reading and writing techniques on a daily basis.
Kind words from an administrator are nice to hear, but there's nothing better than watching a student have that "ah-ha!" moment and say, "Now I get it! You just explained it so much easier!" My very best teacher "awards" come in the shape of shiny apples, hand-drawn pictures, "lightbulb" moments, praise from satisfied parents, thoughtful cards and notes that secretly land on my desk, and those random hugs that find my waist all throughout the school day. (Sounds trite, but we all know we aren't in this for the fame or the money!)
I am an education graduate of University of Michigan. I have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, with specialized endorsements in early childhood and reading.
In addition to my twenty-two "kids," I am blessed to be the mother of two more beautiful boys at home and one fur-baby.