This is my 17th year of teaching. I taught 1st through 5th grade in both public school and for a Montessori school. I also home schooled my children for 3 years giving me a unique perspective on managing different age groups and abilities. For the past 5 years I have been teaching 3rd grade in a Title 1 classroom. In addition, I have spent the last several years writing test questions in both LA, Math, and Writing for the state of Utah's state core assessments.
I have 3 basic tenets that make me a successful teacher: 1. I believe that students are best helped by teachers who connect new concepts and ideas to what students already know or previously learned. Helping students connect ideas to similar concepts already stored in their brains helps develop depth of knowledge across the broad spectrum of a subject. 2. I'm also a big believer in presenting new concepts and ideas in many formats to meet the different learning styles of all of my students. I like to say that if students don't understand a concept by going in through the front door, then we try the back door and all of the windows too! 3. The last of the big 3 is that I hold students accountable for their own learning. In my classroom we do a lot of group and partner work. However, there is a time during almost every lesson or work time when students must show what they know. This practice gives purpose to the lesson and the group/partner practice: to learn and understand the concepts for themselves. The end goal is that each student is an independent learner that strives for individual understanding.
My students have consistently showed tremendous achievement and growth on the year-end core assessments. Additionally, teachers in the next grade have expressed appreciation to me for preparing my students so well. Finally, the look of confidence on my students' faces at the end of the year as they review what they learned and accomplished is honor and award enough!
BA from Western Governors University in Interdisciplinary Studies K-8 Montessori Elementary Education Certification, Ages 6-12 from the National Center for Montessori Education
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