A. I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, California. I went to school at the Mission in our town so I feel very connected to its rich history. I attended the University of California - Santa Barbara, for both my undergraduate and Masters degrees. After teaching for one year there, I decided to move to the East Coast where I have taught for another nine years.
Q. How and why did you become a teacher?
A. I have wanted to be a teacher since my first day of kindergarten! I came home and immediately began teaching my stuffed animals. In the summer, my brother and I would hold class every morning for our stuffed animals using our old school books. I originally thought I only wanted to teach kindergarten until I looped with one of my classes while I was at C.W. Harris. I fell in love with the first grade curriculum and the capabilities of 6-year-olds. Students grow more in first grade than in any other year. It is a true honor to be with them as they make such a momentous journey.
Q. What socioemotional skills are important for your first graders?
A. The part of the Conscious Discipline curriculum that has resonated most with me is teaching students how to use their "big voices." I believe that having an assertive tone is an invaluable skill that has to be cultivated over time. When we teach our children to advocate for themselves in their interactions with peers, they will be able to transfer that skill into adulthood. I sincerely believe that I am not just teaching math and literacy; I am also preparing my students to be compassionate citizens in their communities.
Q. How do you help your students learn about science, math, and technology?
We complete the DCPS Cornerstone projects at the end of each literacy unit, many of which are STEM focused. The most recent topic was bioengineering. The students enjoyed learning about frog adaptations and made a model membrane.
We also had the Architecture in the School program in our class for the fall semester. We worked with two architects to learn architecture terminology, explore two- and three-dimensional shapes, investigate building materials, and create our own community that went on display at the District Architecture Center.
Q. What do you love best about your job?
A. My students and my families are what keep me coming to work every day! I love the community at Langley. I enjoy walking in the building each morning and being able to greet many students I have taught and so many more I have yet to teach. My babies make me laugh when they show me the "secret handshakes" they have with one another and make me beam with pride when they move up to the next reading level. During dismissal, my day is instantly brightened with hugs from former parents and news about how successful their scholars continue to be. I love getting texts from families about how well the APTT activities are going at home or when their student gets new glasses. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise our children - I'm proud to be a part of the Langley village.