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Golden Apple Teacher looking for golden students! I am a veteran teacher with 20+ years of experience in English,language arts, American history, music, writing for the classroom, and reading. Before I became a teacher, I worked as a news reporter and television producer. As an avid reader, I am always informed on current events and keeping my students abreast on world and national topics. I love writing and teaching others the writing skills and keys to being successful. If you need scholarship essays, applications, research/term papers, and help with final projects, we can focus on these areas too! Scholarship is what I do!
I taught ballet at Wendell Smith Elementary School for primary and middle school students in 2011. I received 4 years of ballet training and studied it most recently at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where I earned an A- in my class. I also took lessons from Ms. Shell B., who worked with the Dance Theater of Harlem, from 2004-2006. I am heavily vested in the Alvin Ailey Dance program for urban students, who are trying to advance in society with this art form of expression.
As a veteran Golden Apple teacher, I have taught elementary school in a variety of grades. I have taught third grade and fifth grades in the public schools,focusing on language arts, social studies, study skills, science projects, art, dance, and music. My primary focus was on reading content and understanding what they have read (comprehension). My emphasis on writing was working on grasping the main ideas from the text we worked on. Handwriting skills are also emphasized and practiced in my classroom. As a Chicago Public School (CPS) music teacher, I taught my subject area for the entire building, so I worked everyday with pre-primary through sixth grade youngsters. We had written assignments and a literacy emphasis with the music we studied. The primary children learned new vocabulary and fluency when we studied and sang about the Lion King. I also taught 5th grade (gifted) for three years in Indiana.
Crocheting is a gift and a skill that I learned from my late grandmother when I was a child. Today, as an adult, I have more than 30 years as a blanket maker. I also create and design hats, scarfs, socks, and pillows with my blanket sets. No two items are alike and I am very creative in my visual approach to creating a project. Many young ladies have watched me work and want to learn how to crochet to make their own headbands and accessories. I would be more than happy to pass along this much needed skill to young learners. Crocheting is a positive, creative, and useful way to use ones hands in a meaningful manner. The student would need to have their own crochet needle (size g or h), and yarn to start their project. All items are sold at Walmart stores, JoAnn or Hancock Fabric stores in Illinois. It is important to do something with your mind, but one should also be able to create beauty and comfort with their hands.
Inclusion is a word used to describe how general education teachers "include" special needs children in their regular classroom for learning. Many times, the child falls behind in this type of setting, which is frustrating. My approach to working with special needs children is to access what their strongest skills are and expand their learning from there, often working as a team with the classroom teacher. I work one-on-one with the child, often moving at a steady, but comfortable pace, so the student can attain the comprehension and literacy skills that he or she would need to complete an assignment. Finally, I believe in advocating for my young people who need special attention in academic areas. I believe that with a team approach, every child can be successful.
In my 20 plus years of teaching, one thing I have learned is that students who are focused are also organized. Study skills requires a variety of building in specific areas such as time management, redefining concepts in comprehension, arrangement of subjects, and writing a list of goals on a daily, weekly, and long range basis. I like to see young people making progress by planning ahead on how they are going to tackle a problem. I also like to see the student, parent, teacher, and school community unite to help the young person succeed and accomplish a study skill.
Gallery 37 is a wonderful place where area artists come together and excel creatively. The downfall of this program is that not all talented actors have an opportunity to experience the skills it offers. As a theater minor and local actress, I have been able to work with some amazing artists. One of my gifts has been to creatively drive students to reach their potential and pass auditions. I have produced for CPS several plays on the elementary (West Side Story to MacBeth) for children. I also worked with Gallery 37 with aspiring singers. My background includes traveling and studying in London, England. As a student, I actually visited William Shakespeare's Globe theater and studied the acting techniques used with these actors in Europe.
I am an avid reader and teach vocabulary using the PSAT program for higher level learners. I also use the text, 100 Words Every High School Freshmen Should Know, as a base for building and preparing strong academic skills for younger readers.
I am certified as a voice music teacher with the State of Illinois. I am a graduate of Chicago Children's Choir, the University of Illinois Black Chorus, and several musicals with the Peoria Theater Company. I taught musical theater with Chicago's Gallery 37 Program, which has a strong focus on urban education through the arts. I taught music with CPS for two years and had a positive influence on the historical and cultural contribution of music in society. I also won an award from The University of Illinois for my assistance with writing for musical productions.
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