What is your favorite teaching moment?
I love seeing a classroom of students fully engaged in group work for the inspired expressions on their faces, the excited chatter about what they're learning, and the spirit of helping one another.
What is your favorite book?
My favorite kid's book is Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. The book teaches students the importance of perseverance in the face of obstacles and that every individual has value. The humor of the plot makes it an entertaining as well as an educational read.
I am an avid reader of women's literature and I love the novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. This historical fiction story is written in exquisite detail and illuminates a time in history I didn't know much about. The protagonist's struggles are very moving.
What is your favorite lesson?
I enjoy teaching students the genre of historical fiction for its interdisciplinary value. One lesson I particularly like teaching entails a read-aloud of a page in a novel. Students use the text to compare and contrast the fictional vs. the historical elements in the story. Reading the story becomes a kind of treasure hunt for the details that reveal the era in which the novel takes place, and the students get so excited going on this journey of discovery.
What's your favorite tradition in your school?
Every year the fourth grade puts on a Thanksgiving celebration. It brings together everyone in the fourth grade community—students, teachers, administrators, and parents. The celebration gives us the opportunity to honor the holiday with Native American dishes, readings of tribal legends, educational games related to the original Thanksgiving, and general camaraderie.
Who was your favorite teacher?
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Drapkin, always made each student feel special. She honored individuality and knew just how to utilize each student's assets in the classroom. For example, I was very gregarious and she would give me tasks that involved public speaking. Doing things that showcased my talent made me feel incredibly successful as a student.
What school supply could you not live without?
That would have to be tape! Every inch of wall space in my classroom is used to display students' work. Without tape, I couldn't transform my room into a gallery of my students' achievements.