I have been teaching for 13 years in San Marcos Unified School District in San Diego County, California. I began as a Title I reading intervention teacher, working with second, third, and fourth graders. I worked with small groups of students who read below grade level to give them extra support. I created mini-lessons to support the skills the teachers were working on in class. I was then hired for a full-time position teaching first grade.Since first grade, I have taught 4th grade, 5th grade, and a 4/5 combo. I then changed schools, and have been teaching 2nd grade ever since! I am GATE certified, have my supplementary authorization in art, and have experience teaching with full inclusion.
I use a wide variety of teaching styles in order to reach all of my students. In the past, I have had a large number of English language learners in my classroom, and I believe that the strategies I use with them are beneficial to all students! I use color-coding, illustrations, chants, songs, and real-life applications as much as I can. I draw for my students every day, and make many posters and teaching tools. I try to create a classroom environment that is warm and happy, but very organized and structured as well. I believe that since my classroom is the place where my students spend the majority of their waking hours during the school year, it needs to be a place they feel good about. I spend a lot of time decorating and making it feel like home...for me and for them!
2012 Teacher of the Year, Alvin Dunn Elementary School 2013 Lynette C. Robinson Award for Special Ed Inclusion
I received my BA in Fine Art with a Painting and Printmaking Emphasis from San Diego State University. I graduated magna cum laude and with Distinction in Art. I then went on to earn my CLAD Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, San Marcos. I hold a Supplementary Authorization in Art. I am GATE trained and certified. I have also participated in the Teaching American History grant program: American History in the Schools (AMHITS). I am also GLAD trained (Guided Language Aquisition Design) and incorporate many elements of GLAD into my lessons, as well as teach entire GLAD units. I have attended several Doug Fisher reading seminars.
After teaching for five years, I took a two-year break to start my own mural painting company, called Sunshine Paint Murals. I had worked for a friend painting murals for years when I was just out of art school, and I wanted a chance to try it on my own. I painted murals for schools, businesses, and restaurants, but my main focus was children's rooms. I enjoyed it and learned a lot, but I realized that I missed the schedule, structure, and social atmosphere of teaching. I went back to teaching and now paint murals on the side. I have the best of both worlds...I love my job and I get to pick and choose the murals I work on! At home, I have a wonderful nineteen-year-old daughter who helps me with ideas and gives me lots of inspiration! She wants to be a teacher too, and helps me out in my classroom. I also have two wonderful little boys, aged 2 and 4, who keep me on my toes. My husband is very supportive. He understands the job...he comes from a family of teachers. When I'm not teaching, I love to hike, go to the beach, stand-up paddleboard, and enjoy San Diego and Southern California.