Julie Kotoff has been an educator since 1975 when she entered her first 3rd grade classroom. She has been a classroom teacher, and an administrator. She is now running her small business, Mad Dog Math, while, at the same time, teaching Mad Dog Math classes in her area and working as an ES for a public charter school. As an administrator, her chief tasks were mentoring new teachers and coordinating curriculum from kindergarten through sixth grade. As a mentor teacher, she had the opportunity to experience each grade level. Of them all, her love is third grade. As a third grade teacher, she developed and perfected MAD DOG MATH. She knew the importance of her students memorizing their multiplication and division facts. If not, she knew they would limp through math at best from then on. She has succeeded in developing an exciting, motivating, and challenging program to help students commit their facts to memory for future success in math. As an administrator, she went on to develop addition and subtraction MAD DOG MATH using the same successful principles. Many kindergarten teachers wanted to use it in their classrooms as well, thus, PUPPY DOG MATH was born! She has taught in public and private schools and has worked with all ages of children. She volunteered to teach ESL to adults, and loved that as well. After 40 years, she is still carrying on her love affair with teaching children. It brings her much joy and a huge sense of accomplishment.
Julie learned early in her teaching career that classroom management is the #1 key to student success. She saw it with her own eyes in her classroom. It ranks above the socio-economic state of a student or even above parent involvement. So, her classroom is highly organized with a place for everything and everything in its place. Her students know exactly what to do so time is never wasted and they find great security in knowing what comes next and what their boundaries are. Since being prepared AND knowledge of subject matter with the ability to effectively communicate it are both part of classroom management, you can bet this gal is prepared! She would never come in even one day thinking she would wing it. Julie sets high standards in behavior and work quality because she knows both impact student success. Knowing students need enthusiastic and honest encouragement to reach those high standards is always her goal and some would say that she is as much a cheerleader as she is a teacher. Julie’s top factor that ranks above them all is a positive, mutual respect for one another in the classroom. With a safe, secure learning environment, the sky is the limit.
Teacher of the Year, 2002; a 40-year love affair with teaching children
Julie graduated with a B.S. in Communicative Disorders from Cal State University, Fresno, then went on to complete a fifth year to earn her Ryan multi-subject teaching credential from Cal State University, Fullerton.
Julie has been happily married to her husband Dan since 1982. They live with two pit bull rescues, Addy and Bonnie, and one cat, Sammy, who came for a visit and never left. Gardening, working out, and eating healthily are top priorities while spending time with her husband and friends is what energizes her.