2nd Grade Teacher
Bachelor of Science at University of Illinois
5 Years at EA
Why did you become a teacher?
I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in first grade. Ever since, I have chosen jobs, volunteer, and coaching opportunities that reflect my own passions of helping children learn. I love showing children different ways of learning while highlighting their strengths and tackling their weaknesses. It is a very rewarding position because I get to constantly learn alongside the students. Finally, I love to laugh and love sharing laughter with the children. I strive to make learning fun, active and hands on so students enjoy learning and look forward to class.
How do you use technology to enhance the classroom experience?
I enjoy sharing technology as an outlet for displaying one's ideas and a tool that supplements the learning going on. Sometimes, we simply have the worksheet or lesson projected on the whiteboard so the children can have another visual as we work through a problem. Other times, they can come up and share their work and use the projection interactively. In fourth grade, we introduce many new apps and websites that supplement curriculum materials through different devices. This year, our class has a Twitter page that students run by displaying the events in our classroom through words and photographs.
How do you encourage your students to work collaboratively?
On the first day of school, the children share ideas of appropriate classroom behaviors and expectations. This process of forming a personalized list of classroom expectations gets the children involved. After we finalize a class contract, we sign it and display it in our classroom. If any rules are not met, students can remind their peers that they are not following expectations. In addition, we have two words in our classroom that we highlight: kindness and honesty. We focus on learning each other's strengths, similarities, and differences, so we can learn to cooperate in different settings.
What is your favorite school tradition?
When I was in first grade, I remember on one of the last days of school, my teacher got us a cake with our class photograph inked on the frosting. We each got to eat our own picture and I remember thinking "when I'm a teacher, I'm going to do this!" Last year, I started this tradition with my first group of students, and I can't wait to do it until my last year of teaching.
How do you motivate parents to become involved in the classroom?
This year, we have a Twitter page that parents are encouraged to follow. This allows the weekly "Tweeter" to showcase what is going on in the classroom and parents can always get an answer to the daily question of "what did you do in school today?". In addition, we have informal involvement through holiday parties and a special winter project.