A: I hail all the way from Newark, NJ. I also consider New York City my home because I spent my early adult life there.
Q: What is your role at Langley?
A: I am the lead teacher for the kindergarten through second grade Early Learning Support Classroom. This is my fifth year in that role and I LOVE it! I also serve as a member of the Family Engagement Leadership team.
Q: How did you become a teacher?
A: In high school, at the end of my junior year, a friend asked me to join the Future Educators of America Club. I’d secretly always wanted to be a teacher and immersed myself in the club the following year. My original plan was to be a high school science teacher. However, the third year of undergrad I took an intro to special education course and fell in love with the exceptional child. I decided to pursue a master’s degree in teaching students with severe and multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness.
Q: What is Early Learning Support?
A: The ELS program is an amazing opportunity for students in PK-3 through 2nd grade who have developmental delays or other delays in cognition, communication, social/emotional, and/or motor and adaptive skills to receive early intervention. It is a small-setting classroom in which students receive explicit, specially designed instruction. Each classroom uses research-based interventions and structured lessons to prepare students for a less restrictive environment.
Q: How do you make socio-emotional learning a part of your classroom?
A: For students who are not always able to communicate their wants and needs or express their feelings, socio-emotional learning is a great tool to teach them self regulation, self awareness, and conflict resolution without the aid of an adult. Most importantly, every child in my classroom knows that he or she is loved and in a safe place. Having one-on-one connections with the students throughout the day (such as greeting them individually as they enter the classroom, uniting activities, and connections during Brain Smart Start meetings) makes the day brighter and improves the overall culture and health of the class.
Q: What do you love best about your job?
A: I look at each of my students as beautiful seeds that I get to plant. Every day when I am teaching them, they get watered. I may not see the fruit of my labors, but I know one day, everything I’ve poured into them will blossom into a deep rooted oak tree. Getting phone calls from my students’ parents celebrating something their child can now do that they couldn’t before is the reason I come to work everyday.