A little about me...

Currently I am a Junior at the University of South Alabama, where I am pursuing my degree in Elementary Education. After ten years in the music industry, I decided to return to school and pursue what I view as one of the most rewarding professions out there - teaching.

I have two kids, one son and one daughter, and with them I spend a lot of time at ballparks, courts and fields. We maintain sports schedules year round and although it's incredibly tiring at times, many magnificent memories have been made through those times together.

I have been a volunteer soccer coach in my community for the last six years, with varying aged teams from 1st grade through 8th grade. Three years ago, I started basketball coaching as well, which like soccer, has been an extremely rewarding experience.
I BELIEVE that all children should be treated fairly and given equal opportunity to grow and learn in a stimulating and safe environment.

Every child deserves the right of an education.An elementary classroom environment should be created that stimulates learning, yet fosters a sense of community and partnership. Where each student is given a chance to reach their potential and far exceed expectations. A safe, neutral, caring environment, where we celebrate our differences and appreciate who we are collectively.

I BELIEVE students should all be held to high standards and should be given every opportunity to reach their goals.

Students are not created out of a single mold, they are not one size fits all. Each individual has strengths and weaknesses, areas of study they thrive in and maybe some areas that require a little more effort. Identifying weaker areas does indicate failure or provide an exemption from learning, they only show where we must work harder, both students AND teachers.We should not make excuses for out students, but find alternative ways to help them reach their full potential.
I BELIEVE teachers should believe in their students, even when they do not believe in themselves.

Sadly, many children lack a sense of self confidence, they often give up on themselves far too quickly or worse, they refuse to even make an effort when a problem is deemed too hard. As teachers we cannot let these insecurities affect our desire to see them succeed. We must believe in them even if no one else does and we must continue to believe in them. How many of us had a teacher that saw our potential long before we did? As teachers, we need to find that star potential in each one of our students and help them develop their talents and give them the confidence they need to succeed.
I BELIEVE the elementary classroom should be a place where learning is comprised of academics, social skills, compassion and tough love.

In the elementary classroom there is more to teaching than reading, writing and arithmetic. Academics are very important, but should not be the sole focal point in teaching younger students. The classroom should be an environment that also teaches our students to appreciate and respect one another. I want students to develop healthy relationships with others and give them the opportunity to participate in cooperative learning experiences.By learning together we can learn more!


I BELIEVE the classroom should be a stimulating environment that promotes creativity and where everyone, along with their ideas, is treated respectfully.

Creativity is a gift, one that I often wished I had more of. Why do we then continue to expect students to all behave and act the same? I want to encourage creativity in my classroom, celebrate our differences and different thoughts and learn to appreciate what we can each give in a collective effort. Students should be given the opportunity to express themselves, to have a creative outlet that they control. We need to value our differences and respect the individuality we each contain.


I BELIEVE children should be held accountable for their actions, and equally important, they should be given ample positive reinforcement as warranted.

There are consequences to most every action we perform, both good and bad. This is just as true in the classroom as it is in 'real world'. When a student does not follow within the stated rules and guidelines a consequence follows. This is a natural process and important to instill in students early on. At the same time, we often overlook opportunities to reward all the good that happens. Students deserve to be praised when praise is due. We all contain the desire for acceptance and feel good when we have someone notices our hard work. An elementary classroom should be filled with positive comments and help build a sense of confidence.


I BELIEVE students should be given obtainable goals and responsibilities that nurture their sense of accomplishment.

We should always expect our students to work to their full potential and beyond, but we must also know when to appreciate what they have accomplished. If we constantly set unobtainable goals, we are destroying their sense of accomplishment and setting them up for constant disappointment. By providing achievable goals, we can help build their self-esteem and promote a healthy sense of success.


I BELIEVE learning should encompass more than rote mechanical skills. Children should be exposed to opportunities that allow them to grow as problem solvers and thinkers.

We need to teach our students to be thinkers not parrots that echo back information. Teaching memorization skills only solves the immediate need of passing tests, it does not teach students how to generalize and incorporate the skills they learn into their world. We need to remember to teach the ‘WHY’ as much as the ‘HOW’ so they learn to think for themselves!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Importance of Technology in The Classroom

Technology is all around us, it is inevitably the direction of our future. We see its presence everyday and each day it is incorporated even more into our day-to-day lives. For future generations, it will be even more relevant. Powerful statistics, as shown in the video at http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/2007/06/did-you-know-20.html, give us proof of how much time is consumed on computers, video games and internet sites. Those of us who have kids, see first hand how the younger generations are using technology to communicate and how much time it absorbs of their lives. As the world becomes more reliant on technical advances, we should educate students and ensure that they are prepared for the changing world.

Why not take advantage of the ever expanding possibilities that technology can offer and use it to teach and inspire? Learning should be fun. I would bet that one of the largest complaints of students, is the great question "why do we need to learn this?". If academic learning can be incorporated with expanding their technical skills, they ultimately are educated while they enjoy the process and perhaps can see the practical nature of learning. Learning on a computer is more fun than reading a textbook, and there are endless possibilities.

We NEED to teach them how to use the resources out there, to take advantage of all the world has to offer. Computers allow us to bring students together across the world, to collaborate and expand their knowledge beyond their physical classroom. With the aid of a computer and an internet connection, a student has the power to learn about any subject at the touch of their hands. School systems must see this as a priority. They need to fully equip classrooms with the ability to reach out and take advantage of learning in the 21st century. If we do not get on board as educators, we are only hindering their ability to grow in a field that is most certainly the dominant control of the future.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Importance Of Parental Involvement

Parental involvement can often be directly tied to a student's success. It is an essential component to a good classroom and something I plan to encourage in a variety of ways. Whether in the form of actual hands-on help or being adequately informed and supportive, parents help bridge the gap from classroom instruction to encouragement and lifelong learning.

A variety of instruments can be used to relay class information to parents, such as weekly or monthly newsletters, blogs, websites, etc. Keeping these sources regularly updated and current, can help a parent feel connected to the classroom, especially those working parents who may find it difficult to visit on-site. A creation of an email list can also be a helpful aid. It creates an easy way to deliver information to parents collectively, or to specific individuals, and should encompass positive praise reports as much as possible. Is it not just as important to pass along the good stuff as the bad? Although email should not completely take the place of parent / teacher meetings, it does help provide an easier alternative for working families.

Parents should also be welcomed into the classroom to participate in activities or special events on a regular basis. Encouraging parents to become an active part of the classroom helps to create a sense of team between parents and teacher, whose mutual goal is to see students succeed.

Obtaining parental involvement is a top priority!