I currently teach in a Middle School in Glendale Heights, Illinois. I have worked with students from all ability levels and ethnic backgrounds. For the last 4 years I have been working with 8th graders only teaching English and Social Studies. I created and taught an Introduction to Speech and Drama class as well. During my teaching I have worked with many different styles of teaching and had my schedule for teaching change often. Currently I teach 2 sections of ELA (English and Social Studies content combined) 2 hour long classes and 2 half hour classes (one a study hall and one a book club for reading) I also direct the school plays and musicals having put up successful productions of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Krazy Kamp and This is a Test. I also lead the Drama Club in fun Improv games and drama exercises each week. Recently the students performed a play I wrote for them, Caffeine Chaos.
Carefree and fun. I like to offer my students options whenever possible for projects. While I find quality tools in my textbooks I tend to veer away from the book often. I am working on having a much more student-center classroom. My students make a lot of the choices about what they learn. This year my English classes are using workshop time daily. I have an openng activity, a mini-lesson and than workshop time. Students are learning alot about time management during this time. I am getting a lot of time to work with small groups and re-teaching loops.
Having my students put so much work into the play I wrote for them was the best honor I could have recieved. The Chocolate Moon Goddess Cafe is my shining star teacher moment. Each year I run the cafe for one day and one day only..it is a special poetry reading day that I have got nothing, but amazing feedback on form students and staff.
I have a BA in Elementary Education from Elmhurst College (2000), with endorsements in Language Arts, Social Science and Middle School. I have a Master's in English Studies also from Elmhurst College (2004). I take part in at least one workshop each year outside of my district in order to experience what is new in the world of education.
I love creating new ideas and plans for my students. I think the best thing I can do is learn from them so I often am asking them about how they learn and what they would like to do before creating lessons.