In January 2009, I graduated from Ripon College with BA degrees in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, and I am certified to teach at the elementary level. I have completed my supervised teaching at Barlow Park Elementary School and Murray Park Elementary School in Ripon. As part of this experience, I have had the opportunity to actively engage students in learning by using a fun, hands-on approach. In August of 2011, I completed all courses necessary to obtain a reading teacher license.
In addition, I have prompted student-led discussions and activities that have resulted in critical thinking from the students. During my Simple Maps unit, the students discussed the purpose of a map, what different maps show, the importance of symbols and map keys, and how to read a map. The final project for this unit was for the students to make a map of the classroom using symbols, colors, and a map key to identify what they thought were important areas in the room.
February 2012 through April 2012 I was a long-term 4K substitute for the Green Bay Area Public School District at Chappell Elementary school. For those eight weeks, I focused on filling my lessons with age-appropriate activities that would help students grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. During this experience, I incorporated my fondness of hands-on activities to help students increase their fine motor and large motor skills.
From April 23 through May 11, I had the opportunity to take a long-term 2nd grade substitute position at Fort Howard Elementary School in Green Bay. This teaching experience granted much knowledge of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system the Green Bay Area Public School District implements. In the classroom, students are rewarded for the positive choices they are making, thus setting an example for other students. This creates a classroom where learning takes precedence over behavior management.
I have had the extraordinary experience of traveling to a different country to study their education. In 2006, I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico to study the education of the indigenous Zapatistas. This experience has not only opened my eyes and made me grateful for materials and supplies we have for school, but it has also made me realize that however different cultures are, the hands-on approach to learning is demonstrated everywhere. I have also had the chance to study abroad at the University of Wales Swansea, and being taught in a classroom out of the United States has given me great insight about what strategies are most successful for learning. For example, my classes were strictly lecture-based and the final grade resulted from one test at the end of the semester, and this experience added to my belief of using a hands-on approach to learning.
These experiences complemented by the broad range of coursework, which was required to fulfill my certification requirements in early childhood education and reading, has prepared me to work with children grades PreK - 12.
I became a teacher in January 2009 when I finished my student teaching and received my license, but I've always had the desire to help people better themselves. I think the best feeling you can have is knowing that you helped someone understand something they have struggled with, and that's why I became a teacher.
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