Since 2001, I have been a passionate educator. I started out my career teaching at an IB school where I taught all levels of French, including the IB curriculum, as well as all levels of ESL. From there I added teaching sheltered English to ELL students as well as language arts and AVID. During my time as an educator, I have participated in many textbook adoptions, piloted materials for the district, and created my own curriculum to meet the needs of my diverse students.
Creating original, inspiring, and challenging curriculum is one of the best parts of teaching. I'm continually seeking new ways to improve my skills as an educator by taking classes and participating in workshops. After my training in Organic World Language, I moved my language classes to an immersion model where almost 100% of the class is conducted in the target language. I've also started on the READ Oregon reading specialist endorsement because I would like to more informed on the new theories behind literacy learning since I went school. Literacy affects all areas of learning so continually strengthening this knowledge is imperative to solid pedagogy.
In order for any learning to happen though, it's important to establish and maintain a positive learning environment. The first few weeks of school are always dedicated to a lot of discussion about classroom norms, students’ ideal classroom, as well as many team building games. The best way to earn each others’ trust and respect is through getting to know each other. Some of the games are just silly to break down students’ affective filter, while others are content driven.These are also a good opportunity to gauge students’ skills in an informal manner. It’s important for me to get to know students’ interests and get to know their background. That way I am able to integrate their interests into the curriculum. Ideally, the curriculum is based in thematic units so that inside this set structure, the students are able to access materials that both interest them and are at their level. Another component of a successful classroom environment includes communication with the students’ homes. I like to send out a letter home, translated into the parents’ home languages if needed, in order to get good feedback from them in terms of what their expectation and goals are for the year as well. Good communication between all parties is key to a successful classroom.