Third Grade Teacher
Number of Years Teaching:
4th Year in Ann Arbor, previously taught for five years in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Different Grades that you have taught:
3rd, 4th and 5th (all 3rd Grade in AAPS)
How did you know that you wanted to teach early learners:
Growing up, I was always involved with coaching and officiating youth sports – baseball, basketball, soccer – you name it! Teaching was always something I had “thought about” as a possible profession but circumstances and interests took me into the marketing and public relations world. I worked for a company that owned and operated minor league baseball teams in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Among other things, one of my roles in that work was to plan, organize and implement all of the school-based programs for our company – things like reading assemblies/programs, “Baseball in Education Day”, mentoring programs, etc…After nearly a decade in that field and as a result of those experiences, I decided to make a change and applied for, and got accepted into, an alternative certification program called the Baltimore City Teaching Residency. Three months later, after an intense summer program through the New Teacher Project, I found myself in my own classroom in inner city Baltimore. Nearly a decade later, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else!
What are a few “non-negotiables” of your early learning classroom (kinda your educational philosophy)?:
I teach to help students learn how to develop, maintain and foster relationships, putting them on the road to becoming meaningful and productive members of society. I promote honesty by being honest myself and encouraging students to do the same without fear of consequence. I display concern for others by striving to be a good listener. I demonstrate compassion by showing students it is important to care about others, as much as we care about ourselves. I want my students to “feel the joy of learning” and encourage them to walk out of the classroom each and every day with at least ONE new piece of knowledge and information.
What is something that you want us to know about you as a teacher of young children?:
I have high academic and behavioral expectations of my students. I believe that each and every student can be successful in the classroom, and should be held to a high and consistent standard. The first month of school, I often sound like a broken record, repeating rules, expectations and procedures time and time again. But I believe that this sets the foundation and builds your classroom climate and culture for the entire school year. By mid-year, I begin to relinquish control and responsibility (some years more than others!) and look for the students to begin self and peer-monitoring.
Anything else you would like your viewers to know?: