As a “Highly Qualified Teacher” under the No Child Left Behind Law and an 8-time award winning professional with 40 years of teaching and tutoring experience, I have seen many students come through the door of my classroom. It has been my experience that each and every one of them has had the desire to learn. Maybe the topics they wanted and needed to discuss were not necessarily the subject matter of a Social Studies, Religion or English curriculum, but they certainly were always pertinent to their lives. With this in mind, I have had the opportunity to use the curriculum to teach my students what they want and need to know: how to succeed in this highly technological, highly competitive world.
My knowledge of the skills needed for a successful educational experience are particularly helpful in preparing students to lay the foundations necessary for achieving their academic goals. I set high, rigorous standards and help all students in the class to reach these expectations. I have been particularly gratified by student success based upon the New York, Florida, and Common Core Standards. Most of my students have achieved high scores on standardized tests such as the IOWA, CTBS, ERB,Stanford Achievement, and Woodcock-Johnson tests. In addition, my students have scored well on the New York State Regents and national Advanced Placement exams.
My teaching style incorporates Marzano’s Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, while my style of disciple incorporates techniques from Wong’s clearly defined expectations, Skinner’s Behavioral Modification, and Johnson’s Group Process Approach. I have been particularly successful in integrating cooperative learning, literature circles, portfolios, and alternative assessment to motivate reluctant learners. The numerous strategies used in my classroom have been proven effective through scientifically-based research.
I have also had experience with students with special needs (both learning-challenged and intellectually gifted). I have worked with them individually, in small groups and in the full class through inclusion and pullout programs. In addition, I have established programs in the areas of ESL and ESOL.
I have incorporated technology into the classroom, using Internet Access for class assignments and research. I have helped students to organize their research material into graphic organizers using Excel and Word as well as prepare projects using Pages/Microsoft Publisher, Key Note/Power Point and iMovie. The use of iPads/tablets, iPhones, Kindle and Nook have helped students to access more information than ever thought possible within the clasroom walls. Recently, I have also incorporated smart board/panaboard and document camera technology into my teaching techniques.
Finally, I have worked in the MYP/IB program. This methodology of holistic learning afforded me the opportunity to work with other team members to create cross-curricular units that help the students become aware of the connections between the subject content and the real world rather than studying isolated, unrelated subjects. My teaching was directed toward the enhancement of basic skills while developing self-awareness and personal values. In essence, I have led my students down a challenging path toward knowledge and a broader understanding of the complex global issues of the 21st century.
With this goal in mind, I have each year changed my techniques and strategies to meet the needs of the young people in my care. To be able to meet their needs, including severe reading and writing deficiencies, each year I have attended workshops and seminars to improve my teaching skills. As well, each summer I have taken additional courses to stay current in new trends in the fields of education and technology. I believe that a teacher must continue to be a student, learning right along side the young people he/she hopes to bring into the next generation of leadership.
Seeing each child as special and unique offers me the challenge of being creative as I try to open not only a small window, but also all the doors, which lead to the excitement of gaining the knowledge and self-awareness of being an integral part of the global experience.
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