Q. Where are you from?
A. I'm from a tiny town in NC, about 40 minutes south of Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.
Q. Where did you go to school?
A. I went to school at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. (The best school on the planet!)
Q. Why did you become a teacher?
A. I've been dreaming of being a teacher since I was kid! My parents have videos and pictures of me "teaching" my baby dolls. Aside from that, I always knew I could never have a cubicle or routine career. I, also, really love interacting with little kids. They truly make being a teacher awesome!
A. Reading is my favorite subject to teach my students. Reading is that spark that creates a wildfire within children and they begin to blossom in all other areas. However, what I love most is watching them grow as little people. I see these shy kids come in and after a month they are up presenting their work to their classmates. I see them find things they love and things they really dislike. I get to see them learn to tie, lose teeth, literally grow inches, gain self-awareness, make friends and the list goes on and on...
Q. How do you keep every student engaged in challenging work at their own level?
A. On a daily basis, I'm asking a wide range of questions to determine their understanding. I provide prompts and support when needed to help students get the the right answers. I'm constantly watching and taking note of what I see, then adjusting as needed. Students really get that personalized instruction when we do guided reading and math. During these special times, students work independently at various centers to practice skills that we have learned. One of the centers is working at the back table with me (and kids love it)! During this time, the students are grouped with other students on similar levels, with similar strengths and areas of growth. At the back table, we work on skills that each group needs support in. I also give the students a chance to self-evaluate by asking: "What did you think about today? Was it too easy, too hard or just right?"
Q. Principal Drumm says you are great at implementing Conscious Discipline-- how do you do it? What is a "bucket-filling classroom"?
A. Conscious Discipline was a choice I had to make and something I had to commit too. We had a training prior to school starting to give us ideas of what CD looks like in a classroom and rationales behind each part. We also got a book that breaks it all down. After the trainings and readings, I really thought it made a lot of sense and seemed helpful. So I took it and ran with it and it has been AMAZING! Just adding in that 30 minutes of building a family and then teaching children about their emotions and how to handle them has almost eliminated any behavior issues in my classroom. The kids are handling situations on their own, the class environment feels so welcoming and warm, we get so much learning done and the kids love coming to school (and I do too :))! A "bucket-filling classroom" is something the kids committed to at the beginning of the year. "Bucket-filling" just means that the kids are able to do good things on their own. This can be a little as a compliment or helping a friend or teacher when they need it. This pairs nicely with Conscious Discipline, because it allows the students to apply what they have learned about emotions.
Q. What are your goals for this year at Langley?
A. My goals are to build relationships with each of my students and their families, teach these little people how to be people and to prepare them academically for 1st grade!