Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I love learning and I want to inspire others to love learning as well. I love teaching because it is an art and I have the opportunity to design lessons that meet students’ interests, needs, and goals.
What is the funniest moment you’ve experienced as an educator?
When I was trying to teach the Charleston as a fun supplemental activity for The Great Gatsby. I was wearing a wrap-around skirt and I fell. Needless to say, I ended upside down with my skirt all over the place.
What’s a creative solution you use to keep kids engaged or motivated during COVID?
The chat in Zoom or Google Meet was a good way to take quick surveys. Kids also LOVED Kahoot quizzes and review activities. Having students create their own emoji/icon for Zoom or Google Meet was fun as well.
What resources do you like to use in the classroom or in teaching remotely?
I enjoy using hands-on resources (paper, pen, pencil, paint, etc.) for creating posters or visual designs that enrich classroom content. However, I also enjoy using digital resources such as Jamboard, Kahoot, Lucidchart, and EdPuzzle. Students like videotaping and sharing their creations as well.
What is your experience with bullying in the classroom?
I haven’t experienced blatant bullying in a long time. I start off the school year with class rules designed by the students and posted on the wall. I have zero tolerance for disrespect and the students know this right away. I set the tone with my expectations. My classroom is an open forum, but I expect respect and compassion.
How do you gauge if your students are succeeding?
Many ways. I use learning surveys as well as pre- and post-tests. I document goals and landmarks along the way in the student’s learning cycle. I use written and verbal formative and summative assessments. I listen to student’s voices and ask them to share their strengths and weaknesses. Then, I ask students to write in their journals about their progress.
What’s a fun thing students don’t know about you?
I am an avid hiker. I love hiking Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Also, I was adopted.
What’s the one book you wish all students would read?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is your primary educational goal, and what are you most proud of as a teacher?
My primary goal is to inspire students to give new concepts and skills a chance — to risk failure and embrace the learning process. I am most proud of several former students becoming teachers and carrying on the tradition of inspiring and challenging future students.
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