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First and foremost, I love learning! I've always had a love for all things literary, and my years as an undergraduate English major (with a double concentration in Literature and Language Arts) only served to further fuel that passion. In graduate school, I pursued a career in teaching English as a Second Language after getting bit by the teaching bug when volunteering at local schools.
Differentiating instruction to fit each student's learning style, preferences, and interests is at the core of my teaching - I believe every student can get excited about, learn, and master the English Language, and it's my goal to get them there.
For my full-time vocation, I teach elementary ESOL during the school year, which I adore, but I would also love to reach out to students beyond the elementary level for assistance with middle and high school English, college preparation, and the humanities. I welcome elementary students, as well, as my university courses have given me a strong background in teaching reading.
As well as teaching ESOL (just completed my first year this June), I have had experience in teaching Shakespeare to children and teens, curriculum development,journalism, and creative writing. I would love to work with you to discover the joy and excitement of learning!
Let's explore your learning journey together!
As an undergraduate at Christopher Newport University, I took several courses in the classics, including a seminar in the history of Western thought (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius), the mythic imagination (Ovid, Euripedes, Aeschylus, Homer, etc). The classics have always been a source of great fascination to me; both the works themselves and their history and cultural context.
To this point in my career, I have had the opportunity to educate students at almost every grade and language proficiency level. Beyond my work as an ESOL teacher (elementary) in FCPS, my student teaching (grades K-8) in NNPS, tutoring, and substitute teaching, I have also co-taught a week of high school creative writing in Belize, created training materials for CNU student employees, and coached elementary-school children to appreciate, understand, and perform Shakespeare. While teaching ESL students, I have used engaging, explicit instruction – incorporating scaffolding through modeling, illustration and dramatic interpretation – to cultivate both language development and content knowledge. Through differentiation, creativity, and my deep enthusiasm for reading and learning in all forms, I keep my students’ motivation high, making my classroom a place where children catch the lifelong love of learning.
In my graduate studies at Christopher Newport University, I have taken courses dealing with reading development and literacy learning approaches which incorporate the study of phonics with whole-language approaches. During my first year teaching ESOL at FCPS, I also completed a course (through FCPS) on balanced literacy (balancing authentic, reading-focused-instruction and skills instruction when teaching literacy). I use a balanced approach when working with my ESOL students, basing lessons on and drawing examples from literature, but also using these to illustrate general phonics principles, spelling patterns, or grammatical structures.
In 2006, I taught myself digital photography (with an SLR camera), and have continued to cultivate my interest since that time. I have explored composition, light and shadow, portraiture, event photography, depth of field, macro photography, and many other areas. I have professionally photographed 6 weddings, with satisfied customers.
Growing up as a Baptist Christian, I developed an extensive background in studies of the Bible (Old and New Testament) and matters of Christian theology and history. I took four high school courses on the Bible (Alpha Omega 9, 10, 11, and 12). While my personal beliefs are now nondenominational, I retain a strong interest in religion, theology, and philosophy, as well as the histories of various religions and spiritual movements.
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