What do you do to engage your students? What makes your classroom unique?
I love music and poetry. I use songs, rhythms and rhymes to teach any new concept. I use old songs and I make up new songs using old tunes. I love children's poems and I use a new poem every week to guide what I am teaching. For example, if we are learning about the weather and we are studying the water cycle...we have a water cycle poem that teaches the new vocabulary.
Why do you think it's important to teach the way you do?
Children love music and I love music so it’s the perfect combination, but more importantly it helps the students remember important concepts and vocabulary. It taps into their brains! And it’s fun. Learning should be fun.
What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?
I love children. Every day is a new beginning. They walk into my classroom with smiling faces ready to learn and I am ready to teach!
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?
The favorite activity that we do in first grade is hatch baby chicks. It is the perfect way to teach about organisms and life cycles (and yes, I do have a song for that.) The children are involved in the entire life cycle process from egg to chick. The children learn the science but the best part is holding the baby chicks. It is an experience they never forget.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
I was born in Minnesota and moved to New York when I was in
kindergarten. I’ve been a teacher my whole life. I knew I
wanted to be a teacher in kindergarten and I had so many
wonderful teaching opportunities along the way.
I went to Concordia College in Bronxville, NY and taught in New York City in a private Christian School in Manhattan. When my two boys were born I worked for Concordia College in the Alumni Office and the education department supervising student teachers. We moved to Glens Falls in the summer of 1989 when my husband got a job at Glens Falls Hospital. I was a stay-at-home mom for two months then started subbing in Glens Falls. I filled Jeanne Howe’s maternity leave at Big Cross in special education in January 1990 and I never left. 26 ½ years later I am still here. I’ve loved every minute of it.