Though I currently teach remedial reading classes in a middle school setting, I have also taught in primary and elementary classrooms, and I have taught grades 2 to 11 abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer instructing co-teaching English as a Second Language classes. Including my experience internationally, I have taught full-time for 5 years. Each year gets easier, my materials get more valuable, and my strategies become more effective. My classes currently are small-- 6 to 8 students-- but I instruct as many as 80 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the course of a year, so organization and management are key. I hope that the resources that have been useful in my classroom will find a place of equal importance in yours!
My classroom is often loud, sometimes messy, and seldom conventional. When I began teaching, I had a dream of behavior that managed itself, so my efforts would all be devoted to the teaching, learning, and exploration elements of the classroom. After my first year, I was convinced that had been a pipe dream-- as I round the end of my fifth, I realize my vision is becoming a reality, day by day. At the start of each year, I devote time, resources, and tremendous effort to putting practices in place that my students can learn and can manage independently. I model kindness and respect and demand the same from my students. Within a few weeks, these routines and expectations become the backdrop, quietly present, for a productive and promising year with my classes. My classroom is a kind and encouraging environment, studious when necessary, but often buzz with energy. Students have been known to read on beanbags, perch on their desks as they share their work, and read aloud to one another-- for pleasure-- even in the eighth grade. My students and I have created an atmosphere where a challenging subject becomes an opportunity to grow, and where making mistakes is safe and understood and taking risks is an expectation.
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I hold current Instructional Level II Pennsylvania Teaching Certificates in Elementary Education (K-6), Mid-Level English (7-9), and Reading Specialist (K-12)
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English Language Arts, Reading, Spelling, Vocabulary, Specialty, Social Studies - History, Native Americans, Education, For All Subject Areas, Classroom Management, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving