I am an experienced English teacher with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Leadership and Reading Instruction. I have worked with a wide array of students in CPS, from ability level, to socio economic status and race. I have been teaching for ten years and still love the classroom. I continue to learn every year and everyday from my students and colleagues. More importantly, I am a career teacher. I have no desire to get out of the classroom; I love working with students. The highest moments of my teaching career have been when students are invested in learning in intense ways, when students are engaged in creative projects, or when they are enthralled by a work of literature.
I believe that the English teacher’s biggest priority should be to foster high levels of literacy. Technology has changed the world that our students are and will be a part of, no doubt. However, what has not changed is the need for our students to be great readers and writers. Deeper, analytical reading and argumentative writing are two areas I have worked extensively with students. These two areas incorporate many skills that students will need to be successful after high school.
One of the greatest strengths that I have developed in my years of teaching is the ability to connect with students through the content of the English curriculum. When teaching the Harlem Renaissance with students in my American Literature classes over the past couple of school years, I have completely changed my approach and it has paid off in huge ways. I have given students choices for a final presentation or performance and have created two days of “celebrating” the arts in the classroom and our school’s little theater. Students have performed the Charleston, they have performed songs by Duke Ellington or Louis Armstrong on saxophone, trumpet, or vocals, they have written modern versions of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen poems and performed them in front of hundreds of their peers. This project has shown me that students take ownership when they are given ownership. What scared me at first was the fear that they wouldn’t be reading and writing as much with an approach like this. However, I have found the opposite; students are researching more on their own and they actually want to know. This is not how I organize every unit necessarily, but it has opened my eyes to what is possible in the English classroom. Teaching is about innovation and creativity, and students respond best when teachers meet them where they are and find ways to connect the curriculum to their interests. This is what I love about teaching.
By balancing all of these demands, we are able to meet students’ needs to the greatest extent. From standardized tests, essay writing, presenting, and performing, our students have a multitude of instructional needs. Great teaching hits at all areas while also building lasting relationships with students.
Above all, I am an enthusiastic and devoted teacher who tries to make the classroom a place of growth and learning for all students.
University of Illinois at Chicago - Bachelors, Teaching
University of Illinois at Chicago - Masters, Literacy, Language, and Culture