I taught elementary school in Central Florida for 13 years, spending 12 of those in my own classroom and one in the Art room. During that time I also taught English to adults, tutored countless children in math and science, and worked in the youth education division at Walt Disney World.
The most important thing for me is to develop a strong classroom community and give students the opportunity to trust and count on others, as well as be trusted. Students play different roles in the community at different times in the year, allowing everyone an experience of true leadership at one point. Students practice compliments and random acts of kindness, and learn how to be accountable for their work and their actions. The classroom environment is very hands on and involved, and every lesson involves not just the kinesthetic experience but also meaningful reading, interactive note taking, and maps to organize thinking.
--Foundation for OCPS Art Education Grant Winner, 2012 --Disney's Planet Challenge, Fourth Place Class Nationwide, 2011 --Disney's Environmentality Challenge, Grand Prize Winning Class, 2009 --Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar, 2008 --Apopka Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2007 --Disney's Teacherrific Top Program Award Winner, 2005 --Disney's Teacherrific Top Program Award Winner, 2003 --Disney's Teacherrific Top Program Award Winner, 2002
With a father in the military, my education took place throughout the United States and Europe. I started and finished school in the DoDDS system in Germany, entering kindergarten at Rhine-Main Elementary and graduating from Ramstein American High School. Between those endpoints I attended schools in Florida, Colorado and Utah. Following graduation I studied Art History at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I earned my graduate degree in elementary education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, leading to my wonderful and fruitful teaching life!
I'm married to the most amazing teacher I have ever met. We have a little daughter who is in second grade, and her natural sense of wonder inspires many of my lessons. Also in our family we have a very old cat and a very young Golden Retriever, both rescued from the pound. When not developing resources for teachers, I can be found writing chapter books for kids. Maybe you'll read one someday!