Hi! I'm Betsy. I'm currently a stay-at-home mama to my stair-climbing, hall-running, bed-jumping toddler. Prior to her birth (which was 9 weeks early and a whole other story), I taught 2nd grade for 5 years and 4th grade reading in a departmentalized classroom for one. Additionally, I was a Library Technology Specialist and, although only for a short time, I was able to help my newly opened school unpack, organize, design, and establish both the library and tech center. I was also an independent tutor for all grades K-5 for 6 years. I am trained in and heavily utilized both the Orton-Gillingham Approach and Kagan Structures for cooperative learning.
My classrooms were all structured to emphasize student choice, cooperative learning, and differentiation through meaningful resources and small group instruction. To achieve this, I aimed to develop confidence and academic growth through a strong classroom culture and the intentional use of quality children's literature. I am a fierce believer that building a safe, empathetic, and engaged classroom culture is essential to ensuring effective instruction. I love teaching all subjects, but my JAM is teaching literature. I love dissecting it and picking it apart piece by piece to analyze, and one of my MOST favorite things in the world is doing that with my students. There's nothing quite like kicking our feet up on our desks and discussing, debating, and critiquing our way through a great literary work. (Yes, I AM that person who loves the smell of a good book. No shame.)
In my final year of college, I was nominated by my professors for the university's Elementary Education Award, of which I was rewarded. More recently, lessons I taught using reciprocal teaching and cooperative learning structures were filmed and shown at training seminars regionally. Additionally, I had the honor of leading professional development trainings on the following topics: building classroom culture, behavior management, differentiation through small group instruction, cooperative learning, and ELA curricular tools.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Spring Arbor University with my BA in Language Arts, Early Childhood, and Elementary Education. As a graduate student, I'm currently earning my Master's degree in Children's Literature from Eastern Michigan University. I geek out frequently.
I'm an aspiring writer and currently working on my first book, a middle grade literary novel, and have begun outlining my next two, both following the first in theme. I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and frequently attend workshops and trainings to develop my craft. It's exciting and terrifying and I'm so happy my husband lit the fire under my seat that got me started!