"You teach teenagers???" (with a disgusted facial expression). This is the usual reaction I get when I tell people the grades I teach. However, a select, odd-ball, and somewhat sardonic group of us, have found Middle School & High School to be our home. Call us crazy, gutsy, or label us with some outlandish martyr-complex. But what we know that the others, looking out at us with concern through the sun-catcher laden windows of their perfect elementary classrooms, is that the struggle is worth it. It's WORTH IT. Our students don't dote on us that unconditional love that is so easily bestowed by young children. Any respect or admiration that we receive, trust us, we have EARNED. That is what makes teaching teenagers so rewarding, for those of us who can handle daily re-enactments of "Mean Girls" and occasional scenes that could rival the best of National Geographic. This crazy, drama-central jungle-gym is where I have found my home for the past three years. I have taught Language Arts, Remedial Reading, Elective Drama, & Elective Nutrition to a wide-range of students over the past three years, including gifted as well as special needs. My biggest success each year has been instilling in my students a love and passion for reading and writing, particularly in those students who have never enjoyed either in previous years. In addition, I take pride in the overall role I play in raising my students' self-esteem (which is often in a delicate state), and praising them to success when their support systems at home fall short.
In this digital and social-media-driven age, it is more difficult than ever to grab our students' attention in the classroom. Making school "cool" for teens and tweens is challenging, especially since what's "cool" changes so quickly these days. We have to seize every opportunity to ignite a passion for learning, and get creative to establish an environment that students find stimulating and fun. Often this means rethinking lesson plans and finding creative ways to make our lessons applicable and relevant for today. Rather than fighting our students' socially-centered culture in our classrooms, we need to embrace it and use it as a tool to get our students' attention and make learning exciting for them by engaging them in learning through something they love and value. By doing this, students gain more respect and appreciation for their teachers' efforts, and will grow to enjoy and value learning again. My classroom environment is highly interactive as well as goal and rewards-system-oriented. Students are challenged by socially-driven class activities, modernized lesson plans, and healthy competitions. In addition, my students are encouraged through a positive rewards and recognition system I have established. This rewards system is highly motivating to my students, especially those students so in need of recognition. Everything I teach, everything I do in my classroom revolves around this crucial rewards system. It keeps my students motivated. It keeps them accountable. It keeps them excited. It works. My classroom would fail without it. And I want to share it with you! Join me in making school COOL again for our teens & tweens!
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I have my Bachelor's degree in Directing/Performing for the Theatre. Also, I have Reading Endorsement and professional Teaching Certificate for the state of Florida.
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English Language Arts, Balanced Literacy, Creative Writing, Writing-Expository, Reading, Specialty, Math, Arts & Music, Physical Education, Drama, Health, Other (ELA), Life Skills, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Cooking, Short Stories, Writing, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving, Poetry, For All Subjects, Summer