Meet the Teacher
Thanks for checking out my biography page.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, I moved to Portland, Oregon 31 years ago. Before moving I had grown up in Santa Cruz and later earned a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. After graduation I became a desktop publisher while also helping to run the intramural and recreation departments at UC Santa Cruz. I moved north to Oregon in the spring of 1989. I went back to school to become a teacher in 1992-1993 at Portland State University and was soon accepted into the graduate M.A.T./Licensure program at Lewis & Clark College. I did my student teaching here in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and I graduated with my M.A.T. and teaching credential in the summer of 1994. I was soon hired in West Linn-Wilsonville at Cedaroak Park Primary School where I taught 5th grade, 4th grade, and a 4/5 blended classroom for 18 years. I transferred to Trillium Creek Primary School to re-invigorate my teaching career and to take part in a rare opportunity to help build a school culture from the ground up in a brand new building. I have been teaching for 26 years now and I truly enjoy working with children helping them to become successful life-long learners.
Here are some of my personal educational beliefs that guide my approach towards teaching:
- Belief that success in educating children requires an effort to make learning meaningful to students.
- Use of child centered approach to foster participation and interest on part of students. Children bring with them a wealth of knowledge, understanding and experience that can be tapped into to create intrinsic interest and self-motivation to learn. Mention Howard Gardner’s theory of “Multiple Intelligences” - finding strengths, areas for improvement, and designing activities to compliment these areas.
- Developing life long learning skills that take into account what we know about future is unknown so students must be able to adapt and learn to learn under differing conditions.
- Developing social and communication skills to work with others (what most current employers rate top criteria for successful employment).
- Importance of creating a “safe” environment where students can accept risk-taking as part of learning. Learning how to use a “Growth Mindset” to deal with sense of dis-equilibrium or failure. Finding the cloud’s silver lining and learning from mistakes and applying in future.
- Helping children assume more responsibilities as learners and community members to take more control of their own education.
- Efforts to foster parental involvement through communication methods, activities at school/class, encouraging participation in homework and classroom project work. (Newsletter/e-mail update about every 2 weeks, weekly updated blog page, student "Google Classroom" page for communication, and periodic phone calls to identify positives as well as problems in the classroom.)