I began my teaching experience in Christchurch, New Zealand. While this was just my student teaching experience, it was an opportunity that impacted my life forever. I was able to begin my teaching career with a different culture, but still learn that children are very similar no matter where they are from. Even though they speak English in New Zealand I still had to learn what togs and jandals were (bathing suit and flip flops) along with the fact that a jumper is not an ugly teacher outfit, but a sweatshirt or jacket. In America we have specific teachers that teach specials area subjects; such as P. E., music, art, and so on. Well in New Zealand I was the special area teachers as well. I even had to give swim lessons. I learned a lot of new skills in those first few months. I then moved from my home town in Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia where I taught fifth grade at a title 1 school in the metro Atlanta area. Coming from New Zealand where there was just one class per grade level to becoming one of eleven fifth grade teachers. My first year in fifth grade was a wonderful learning experience. I have to admit that I do not remember a lot of what I did that first year; your first year of teaching is always a blur. I then moved to third grade within the same school where I was now one of thirteen teachers instead of just eleven, because eleven teachers on a grade level is just not enough. That can sound overwhelming, but the amount of resources and advice to access was tremendously helpful. I spent seven years teaching third grade, and I absolutely loved the age group and content. In my current year of teaching I am a Technology Coach at the same title 1 school I began at. I was lucky enough to have a principal who saw my drive and knowledge with technology, and the potential I had to be a teacher leader with the staff. I now support teachers and help grades K-5 integrate technology into their daily instructional practice. My husband Sean is also a teacher! He is excited to join me on our TpT journey. He began teaching 5th grade in Georgia and then found his passion to be with middle school students. He first taught 6th grade math and now teaches 8th grade English. He has his gifted and talented endorsement also. A unique thing about my husband is he started a group for underprivileged youth with another co-worker of his. It was a group for young men to learn a variety of skills and play spots. We both find a lot of value in education and are excited to be apart of the TpT family!
We believe teaching is an adaptive profession. We all know that education is continuously changing. There is always a new buzz word each year. Can anyone say differentiation or integration? Since I, Melissa, know teach almost exclusively through technology I am learning to adapt often and quickly. Technology is not moving even close to a moderate pace. It is more like the speed of sound. I think Apple comes out with a new product or upgrade every few months now. Within a two year phone contract there are 3-4 new phones. I work at an elementary school, but I do not just teach children. Sometimes my students are children and other times they are adults. Being a coach to a large staff is challenging and rewarding. I have a lot of respect for the classroom teacher, knowing that their position hands down is the most challenging. They are the ones in the trenches everyday. My job is to support them the best way I can each day, so they can achieve the best results with their students. I know differentiation is the big buzz word in education and I have always believed in its benefits, but it wasn't until I became a teacher leader that I really saw the true potential and reward differentiation brings to the classroom. Through my coaching I am able to differentiate for each teacher and their class of students. This directly benefits the students learning and achievement. Sean values differentiation and interaction, there are those buzz words! even though he teaches middle school he finds that getting his students involved in their learning is not only more fun, but also a better way for them to learn. We hope all of our activities help you build a strong and engaging classroom learning environment.
As you can see we value education and always learning more! Melissa Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (PreK-5) Masters Degree in Elementary Math and Literacy Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Technology Media Specialist Certification Sean Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education (PreK-5) Masters Degree in Elementary Math and Literacy Educational Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction Gifted and Talented Endorsement
To share a little bit about Sean and I, we have been married since 2011. We originally met at the school I currently teach at. Sean teaches at a middle school now. We live in the suburbs of Atlanta. We love to travel all over the world with all of the great time off we have together. We love teaching and are so excited to share and learn from the TpT community. Logo design done by A Little Peache of Africa.
English Language Arts, Specialty, Math, Algebra, Basic Operations, Fractions, Geometry, Measurement, Numbers, Order of Operations, Science, Earth Sciences, Other, Math Test Prep, Classroom Management, Professional Development, Word Problems, Instructional Technology, Physical Science, Library Skills, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Place Value, Informational Text, For Administrators, Coaching