I have taught English and AP Literature since 2001. Now, I am on a new adventure as a Gifted and Talented teacher for my district!
Overall, I would say my teaching philosophy starts with the idea that I seek to empower my students to learn by awakening them with knowledge and discovery. I want my students to achieve independent thinking and know how to defend their opinions yet respect and learn from those that may differ. I work hard to make my passion for learning infectious and my students leave my class at the end of the year with a capable attitude towards English. I help my students to set and achieve goals for themselves and ultimately realize their self-worth as individuals and scholars. As a teacher, my strongest characteristic is my ability to build connections with students and present curriculum in a rigorous yet accessible manner. I feel the best setting for learning is a positive classroom and school community, in order to support students to fulfill their potential as learners and individuals. I expect my kids to work as hard as I do in the classroom; I challenge and inspire every student. Watching them exhibit scholarly growth is easily my favorite part of teaching. I focus on creating student success through encouraging their interests, skills, and abilities. My life’s work is messy, creative, and a student-focused journey. I see myself as a guide and mentor, learning and discovering along with my students.
I am a Teacher Consultant with the Southern Maine Writing Project (2012). I hold two Maine certifications: 7-12th grade English Teaching (2003-present) and Gifted and Talented (2016-present). Other honors include: Phi Beta Kappa National Academic Honor Society, Pi Lambda Theta National Educator’s Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
I earned both my degrees through the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH: Master of Arts in Teaching, Secondary English (2003) with a 3.65 GPA and a Bachelor of Arts, English Teaching (2001) with a 3.47 GPA. I am currently working on a second master's degree in Gifted/Talented education.
I think the experiences that have shaped me most in the classroom include my lifelong pursuit of riding and caring for horses, my own experience as a learner, and the many mentors I have had along the way. It seems funny to say that horses shaped who I am as a teacher, but these animals taught me trust, responsibility, leadership, and tolerance for myself and for others. Horses helped me develop a healthy self image and learn humility, grace, clear communication, and how to overcome my fears. And truthfully, I think horses taught me how to be a better student, teacher, mother, wife, and woman. Also, I have always enjoyed school and learning, so I work hard to create the type of environment that will help foster that same appreciation in my students. I have always felt most at home and had a strong desire to be in the classroom, a place I have always loved and felt motivated by excellent teachers. And finally, I have been blessed with several excellent teaching mentors, from my college professor John Lofty, to my teaching internship coordinator Liza Finkel, to the author and professor Rich Kent.