What do you do to engage your students? What makes your classroom unique?
I use lots of music, chants and cheers. I have a song for everything and if not, I write one! One of the character education songs I wrote contains the lyrics, "Always do your personal best! Never let your good skills rest. Take pride in what you do and others will be proud of you too!"
How are you responding to the Common Core shifts?
In English Language Arts, I have focused more on having my students read and listen to more nonfiction text. They have also learned to write a main idea and supporting details to correspond to the text. In math the curriculum now allows for less content and more time for students to master the concepts I am teaching as part of the math program.
Why do you think it's important to teach the way you do?
It works! The rewards of seeing your students make growth in their academic skills and watching them be enthusiastic, engaged learners is what it's all about.
What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?
The students are the most exciting thing about teaching. Each student is unique and it's exciting to teach in such a way that makes learning exciting and effective for each and every one of them.
What singular lesson plan, activity, assignment or experiment do you return to year after year because of its "spark" factor with you and/or your students?
Oh, there are too many of them! Throughout the year we have special learning units like Dr. Seuss week, Fun in the Sun Day, Day 101 (celebrated Dalmatian style) and more. During those special events all our reading, writing and math learning activities are based on the special themes.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I graduated from Cobleskill Central High School. I went to college at SUNY Oswego - I loved the winters there! I did my Masters' at SUNY Albany. I have been teaching for 34 years and all of those years have been right here in Glens Falls. It has been a great journey and I have loved my teaching career!