It's hard to believe that I have now been teaching for 11 plus years. I clearly remember my first day of teaching like it was yesterday. I took over a fourth grade class for a beloved teacher who had decided to retire in the middle of the year. My goal was to keep the routine and procedures that she had established intact and it would hopefully be an easy transition. I greeted the students as they walked in the door and I was very nervous. I introduced myself to the class and shared a bit about my life. One student raised his hand after my introduction and asked "Are you going to give us too much homework?" making a pun of my name. I laughed, the class laughed, and the rest is history. I've been laughing ever since about funny things kids have said, about those moments when the students are excited about learning, and many other great experiences. I am definitely a fan of upper grade and have mostly taught fourth and fifth grade over these years with a few years of teaching third grade. My favorite subjects to teach are math and science, mainly because of the hands-on components to the instruction and the students' enjoyment of the subjects. I love reading and writing too of course, and am so excited about the Common Core Standards and how these subjects can become more integrated.
The last thing I would love to share is that I have had the great privilege of working as a National Park Ranger over the last 5 summers through their Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program. I work for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area based here in Thousand Oaks. As a part of this experience I have started to help integrate the Next Generation Science Standards into the educational programs offered by the National Park.