“Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius

I believe that an effective teacher needs both a firm understanding of content knowledge and familiarity with a variety of instructional techniques and practices. I have had the wonderful opportunity and privilege of attending Holy Trinity School, The Potomac School, and The College of William and Mary , which are all devoted to academic excellence. I feel privileged to have a strong educational foundation and am excited to share my content knowledge with future students.

Reading and Language Arts:

I feel like my genuine love of and interest in reading from a young age has helped accrue a strong competency for teaching these subjects. As a little girl, I had a "reading closet," where I would stay up and read books to late hours in the night and record each book that I had read. Because I have read a plethora of children's books, I feel that I am good at making decisions about appropriate books to chose for guided reading groups. During my student teaching experience, I had the opportunity to lead three guided reading groups of different levels and teach students a variety of reading strategies, including: comprehension, compare and contrast, making inferences, summarizing, identifying the main idea, fact versus opinion, and sequencing.

Growing up at Holy Trinity School, I was placed in the honors English and Literature classes each year, and was introduced some of my favorite authors at a young age, including Jane Austen, Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. In high school, I had the opportunity of taking British and American Literature courses, a course devoted almost exclusively to Shakespeare, and chose to take 19th Century Women in Literature and Short Story electives my Senior year. The 19th Century Women in Literature course heightened my love of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, while the short story introduced my love of Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe.

It was clear when I got to William and Mary that I wanted to major in English. Over the course of my William and Mary experience, I was required to take 36 credits to fulfill my English major, which I exceeded by taking 43. My specialty was American History: I took Introduction to American Literature: Themes and Issues, American Renaissance, Americans in Paris, American Literature 1865-1920, American Literature 1912-1960s, and took a single-author course my senior year on Hemingway: The Man& the Myth. I even visited his home in Key West, Florida during a Spring Break trip my senior year. While my specialty was focusing on American Literature, I believe that I have a worldly literary foundation as well: I took a World Novel after 1832, a Fallen Woman course from texts all over world, a "Reading the Romance" Freshman seminar, Naturalism and Modernism, and a Twentieth Century Irish Fiction and Modernity course while studying abroad over the summer at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

I also have always had a passion for Creative Writing and took a course at William and Mary to develop this interest. I write my own poetry, song lyrics and have written a draft of a book that I hope some day to publish. I believe that my interest in Creative Writing has translated to what I expect of my students. Students constantly have assignments from me where they must write narratives and imaginative stories.

I hope to instill in others my love of literature and have had the opportunity to devote the first part of my student teaching experience solely to Reading and Language Arts instruction to two different sections of fourth grade. I am familiar with whole, small, and individual instruction and feel very prepared to teach these subjects.

During my student teaching, I had the opportunity to teach Mystery, Fantasy, and Poetry units to rising fourth graders. Students were able to learn the conventions of these styles of writing while using creativity to explore their own individual writing styles.

Students completed a leprechaun story to learn about adjectives and adverbs. They circled adjectives in red and adverbs in green

Science has become my favorite subject to teach. I am a firm advocate of hands-on activities, and Science is extremely conducive for getting students involved in their own learning through memorable experiments. I believe that I have a strong foundation in science. In high school I took Cellular Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Bioethics. At the College of William and Mary, I took a Physical Geography course, an Introduction to Geology Lab, and a Geology Perspectives of the Galway Bay Region course at the National University of Ireland. I have also always had an interest in Psychology, and took both Natural and Social Psychology, Personality Theory, Educational Psychology, and have participated in numerous psychology studies for the education program. I believe that my background in psychology is a form of science that will help me understand and relate to children at a variety of stages in their psychological development and help me assist them psychologically and emotionally as they grow as individuals.

During my Curriculum and Instruction Course at William and Mary, I have learned so much about how to teach science in the classroom. I co-taught a "Science Circus" lesson on Ecosystems, where we created five stations that focused on a different SOL requirement. The five stations were entitled, "Food, Flow, and Energy!" "What's Your Habitat?" "Cycle Your Life!" "Adaptation Sensation!" and "Humans and the Environment." Each stations used hands on activities to expand on instruction. To see this lesson plan in greater detail, take a look: Science Circus Lesson Plan. I also taught a 5 E Lesson on Photosynthesis and Dormancy, leading a hands-on activity where students examined leaves outside that had changed color and compared them with leaves that still retained chlorophyll, examining the differences in texture and levels of water. To look at the lesson plan that I created, click here: Photosynthesis 5E Lesson Plan. At the close of our Fall semester, the student teacher that I collaborated with and myself created a video documenting our 5 E lesson plans and our joint effort on the Science Circus. If you would like to watch, click here: 5E Lesson Plan Videos and Science Circus.I also created a week-long science module for SOL 4.4, which a unit on plant parts and their life cycle and functions. It was extremely good practice to not only prepare for individual lessons, but to plan lessons in the context of a larger unit. To view my module, click here: SOL 4.4 Module.

I also taught a unit on the Solar System during my student teaching experience. I had students create their own models of the solar system to help them understand the difference between revolution and rotation. They were able to create their own solar systems using only playdough, a toothpick, and a bendable straw.

Mathematics: Growing up, Mathematics was always my weakest subject, but I feel that my teaching is better for it. The way my brain works in math, I have to have a clear step-by-step process and formula for solving each process. Because I need mathematical processes simplified and clarified, I know how to teach math in a formulaic, understandable, and relatable way. I strongly believe that a large part of truly understanding mathematics is by using visuals and manipulatives. My Curriculum and Instruction course at William and Mary helped familiarized me with many types of manipulatives. I especially like using multilink cubes for place value, cuisinaire rods for fractions, and geoboards for area, perimeter, and transformations. While there are specific manipulatives that I relate to personally as a teacher, I recognize that each child's thought process is different, so I am prepared to differentiate instruction by using a plethora of models. As for my background in math, I have taken it through the precalculus level in high school and then took a Mathematics of Powered Fight course during my undergraduate experience, offering a new perspective on math. In November I attended a conference held at William and Mary's School of Education in November 2012 dedicated to educating teachers on ways to create visuals and models to teach math in an engaging way.
Math Properties.jpg
This is an Order of Operations math "foldable" that I learned how to make at a Math Conference held at William and Mary's School of Education in November.

Social Studies: Growing up near Washington, D.C. and spending the last five years in Williamsburg, VA have helped me appreciate history and how it can enrich our students' culture and experience in the classroom. As a child, I visited the monuments and memorials numerous times, learning about the history of the nation's capitol. Here in Williamsburg, I have toured, performed, and lived in and around Colonial Williamsburg, and am fascinated by its history. As a child, my father loved taking the family on trip to National Parks, and I have a "National Parks Pass," where I have over thirty national parks "stamped" to show that I have visited those historic sites. I think that this has given me a well-rounded education in history. In high school I took both World and American history, and my Senior year I took Advanced Placement United States History. My interest in American History led me to take an American History course and an Introduction to American Politics course at William and Mary. I also think that my interest in American Literature has embellished my content knowledge of history. I believe that part of the goal of social studies is to connect students their unique cultures and to teach them to connect to the cultures of other people. I am passionate about my own Irish heritage and was lucky to take an Introduction to Irish Culture course at William and Mary before my summer abroad experience in Galway, Ireland. I also took a Geography course at William and Mary, which has helped my teaching in both social studies and science. My Curriculum and Instruction course in Social Studies prepared me well, and I learned how to use a variety of effective social studies lesson plan formats and how to use historical artifacts to embellish these lesson plans. I not only worked on creating individual lesson plans, but also created a Social Studies unit devoted to the Civil Rights Movement. One of the best experiences that I had teaching social studies was being part of a school improvement plan, educating students on the Electoral College. I believe that in order for students to be active citizens, they need to be informed on not only history, but government and politics, so that they know their rights and are familiar with the democratic system in which we live.

Music and the Arts:

One of my strongest competencies is music in that it has been a life long passion. As a child I was in several choral and drama programs, and was in madrigals and a cappella in high school and college. Throughout my undergraduate experience, I kept taking music courses "for fun" and ended up with a music minor because I loved every moment of it. I have taken Introduction to Tonal Theory, Tonal Theory I and II, and Music Composition I and II, so I can read music well and compose my own music through programs such as Finale and Sibelius. I also took several music history courses at William and Mary, including "History of Western Music" "Worlds of Music," and a specialized course on J.S. Bach. I have also taken piano, guitar and voice lessons while attending William and Mary.
Students creating rainforests during a co-teaching lesson where I taught an sol-related science lesson on tropical rainforests while the art teacher taught artistic styles and history by showing pictures of rainforests created by the artist Rosseau.

I also have always had a passion for art. My mother works as a docent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., so from a young age, I have accompanied her on countless tours of both the East and West building, so have a firm grasp on modern and renaissance art. My favorite artist is Renoir, and I also have an affinity to art from the Renaissance period. I believe that art is a form of expression for many children that can make them excited about school. I believe that art can also can accompany SOL-related instruction. One of my favorite lessons was when I co-taught a lesson with my school's art teacher. I was teaching a Science unit to fourth grade on ecosystems, and was focusing on teaching them about the tropical rainforest while the Art teaching showed them pictures of jungles that the famous artist Rousseau had created. The children learned a science sol while learning about an artist and artistic styles. It was very interesting to see children create their own work from the two different perspectives of jungles that they saw.

Physical Education:

Health and Physical Education have always been a huge part of my life. As a child, I played a variety of sports, including soccer, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis, and received the Presidential physical fitness award every year. In high school, I was a junior varsity point guard on the basketball team and ran on the cross-country team. I have always valued being a team player working toward a common goal with people that I work with and trust. I think that this will help me as a collaborator on a teaching team. My largest athletic commitment of all was that I was an Irish Dancer for over ten years, was the Southern regional champion on the Irish Dancer's Hall of Fame, and competed at Nationals and the World Championships in Belfast, Ireland, and the All-Ireland Championships in Killarney, Ireland. I also took a Weight Training conditioning course at as an undergraduate at William and Mary to learn about safe ways to exercise certain muscle groups.

In order to rech my athletic goals, I had to learn a great deal about physical health and nutrition. I am inspired by trainers such as Jillian Michaels, and realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I hope to instill healthy lifestyles in the children I teach, and live by Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, and especially that some children are tactile, kinesthetic learners. I believe that children can learn through movement. During my math lesson on Transformations, I had the children in my class practice rotation, reflection, and translations by dancing to the Cha-cha-slide. I never underestimate the power of muscle memory when teaching a lesson. During my science methods course, a physical education specialist guest taught our class, showing us activities where we could incorporate movement into the classroom while teaching. In general, I believe that children need "wiggle breaks" and time to be active in order to maintain focus in the classroom.

I have taken and passed all of the required tests for my Virginia Teaching License:

Test Scores:
Praxis I (SAT substitute): Verbal: 630, Math: 560, Writing: 750
VCLA: 551
RVE: 189
Praxis II: 172