About Me

I've been an elementary school teacher since 2002.  I started out at a charter school before starting at my present public school in 2004.  In that time I've taught first, third, and fourth grade and regardless of the grade I'm in there are a few things that have remained important to me.

1.  There are many ways to teach and learn.  I chose a career in teaching because I love school, and as a child at school I loved art, music, gym, reading, writing, math and science.  As a teacher, my favorite units are those that give kids time to explore all modalities of learning.  It keeps things interesting, and although not every kid loves every activity, keeping it varied makes it more likely that they will like something.  I want every kid to leave my class on the last day of school with fond memories, and I want those favorite memories to be different for each child.  My college thesis was about Multiple Intelligences, my master's program was on the Arts in Education, and learning modalities are still something I weave into my units of study.  "Shut the Door and Teach" comes from the times I've had to do what I know is going to keep students motivated and interested even when the pressure of standardized testing tempts me to rush through concepts instead of taking that time to have fun and explore. 

2.  One thing that was a student centered shift in my instruction was the gamification of math.  Here I was with my plans for next week full of drawing and singing, and when I asked my new class, "What was your favorite thing your teacher did last year" and half the class said "math games."  I was humbled.  I never taught math with games.  I had no math games.  So I admitted, "I don't have any math games, yet, but that's something I will work on."  And all year, I did!  I've found it is a great way for many kids to practice math skills they're learning.  If Howard Gardner's teachings helped me write a unit planning checklist, math games is a vital addition to that list. 

3.  Helping children feel like they belong is so important.  I've always felt this way because I struggled for a couple years in middle school, but with some determination I did turn things around in high school.  Once again, getting involved in the arts (visual, choral and band) helped me make connections.  In my units I am cognizant of giving extroverts as well as introverts (like myself) time to flourish, as well as time to stretch themselves in way that still feels safe.

I am still in the classroom full time in a public elementary school.  I am married and live north of Boston Massachusetts with my husband and 2 cats.  I often travel to England for the summer to visit my husband's side of the family but when I'm home I love the beach here in MA. 

1 comment :

  1. Anonymous2:54 PM EDT

    I just saw this post: https://www.weareteachers.com/shut-the-door-and-teach/ I get it. This year, more than ever, I feel like "shutting the door" is not allowed. I have been put into a box. But she quit. I haven't yet. Where there is a will, there is a way. I can't win them all, but I'm still giving it my best shot.


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