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I have taught school for 26 years, including the following grade levels: K, 1, 3, 4, 6 (reading), 7 (Spanish), as well as adult ESL classes. I have passed both the WEST-B and WEST-E tests, and am highly qualified in the state of Washington in all elementary subjects. I have Bachelor's Degrees in both Elementary Education and Special Education, and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership. I use a balanced literacy approach that incorporates best practices in planning and presenting elementary curriculum in all subject areas including reading/language arts, math, science and social studies.
I started piano lessons at the age of 6, and by age 14 I was the organist/pianist for our church congregation. I have continued to play both piano and organ for numerous congregations and schools over the years. I took guitar lessons starting at the age of 12, and again when I was in college. During college, I earned extra money by teaching piano lessons. I also taught music at a preschool, and would use my guitar to accompany myself while we learned many fun children’s songs. As you can see, I have had a variety of experiences with music over the years. I would feel very comfortable teaching either general music or voice, wherever I am needed.
Ten of my 26 years of teaching have been spent in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. I have received extensive training in the "Explicit Phonics" program approach, as well as many other professional development opportunities that increased my skills in using best practices to teach reading using a strong phonetic approach. I have also completed classes in "Words Their Way" and "Project Life", both designed to incorporate phonics into a balanced literacy approach.
I have Bachelor's Degrees in both Elementary Education and Special Education, and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership. I am able to teach students the importance of time management as it relates to studying. I can show students how to improve their test scores by evaluating which questions may be easily answered first, while saving more difficult questions for later. I am able to help students evaluate multiple choice questions to eliminate improbable answers. I can help students learn to effectively review previously-presented material and reflect on their abilities as a learner, with the objective of improved accuracy leading to greater academic success and mastery.
As a teenager, I took voice lessons from a well-renowned teacher in Las Vegas (where I grew up). I sang in school choirs from grades 7-12, and my senior year I was chosen to be the student conductor of my high school choir. This was a great honor. At the age of 17, I participated regularly in talent showcases held at various Las Vegas casinos, for about a year. I had the chance to sing popular songs with a live band, and performed for many talent scouts. I sang in various choirs at the college level, and continued to take both group and private voice lessons. During college, I taught 8-week voice courses at a guitar shop. The objective was to help people who were learning to play the guitar, but were hesitant to sing along while they played. I have led multiple church choirs, both for children and adults. I currently serve as the music conductor for my church congregation.