Education: Bachelor of Education from University of Central Florida
Length of time teaching: 32 years; 6 years at HT
How do you feel you can help students to “Start Here. Go Anywhere.”?
The Advanced Placement Calculus Curriculum is designed to provide students the necessary rigor and conceptual insight for success at whatever college they might attend. I am continuously updating teaching materials that align with ever-changing textbooks and instructional aides. I continuously ask myself questions about “what to teach?” and “how to teach?” To be effective in a classroom with intelligent students, I must remain relevant and current. My primary goals are to strengthen students’ passion for mathematics and to emphasize competency and confidence. I consider it a job well done when students leave for college knowing that they can compete academically “anywhere.”
What is the most important life lesson you want a child to learn in your classroom?
I would like students to understand that there is dignity in the details: taking notes, contributing to classroom discussion, collaborating with others, being an active learner and all the other “little things” that are characteristics of an ardent student. I want students to enjoy their experiences in my classroom by finding exposure to new concepts exciting and fun. I try to impart to my students that the biggest successes occur one assignment at a time and that hard work and perseverance are gratifying and rewarding. I want my students to feel proud of themselves and say “Hey, this was tough, but I did an amazing job!”
What do you love about teaching?
I love knowing that I help enable the dreams of others. Unlocking the true potential of young people is powerful.
What are some of your interests and passions outside of the classroom?
Since I spent my childhood in Brevard County, I love all things to do with the ocean and the beach. My husband and I enjoying boating, fishing, or just kicking back on the beach. I also love camping, hiking, sewing, and landscaping. Flowers blooming in the yard are just as big of a thrill to me as one of my student’s “aha moments.”
What do you want your students to gain from having known you?
I want students to know that I love what I do. I will encourage every student to find their own passions and to make a career choice that is going to utilize their unique talents and gifts. If you love what you do every day then work is not really work at all.
In what professional development activities have you participated recently?
I earned my Gifted Endorsement a couple of years ago and I really feel that those courses helped me understand the unique characteristics of my students and enable me to now differentiate instruction when needed. I also attend AP Seminars every year to keep current with changes in the program as well as learn from experienced teachers who have a passion for what they do every day. I have also benefitted from serving on several FCIS Accreditation Teams. Visiting other independent schools, taking a close look at how they operate, and what works for them has given me a broader understanding of what defines “great education.” I gained a lot of wisdom during those visits and an appreciation for the opportunity to work at a school like Holy Trinity.
What is your philosophy of education?
My philosophy of education involves making information accessible, usable, and understandable on a daily basis. A primary goal is to show connections between new information and prior knowledge. It matters not what I know, or how skilled I am with mathematics, but rather what I am able to impart to my students.
Students perform at their best when challenged and motivated.
This aspect of the educational process requires that I be a cheerleader, a coach and a major player as well. The classroom will function as a team. We are only as strong as our weakest link, therefore every student will be required to contribute, collaborate and articulate their knowledge. Mine should not be the only voice heard in the classroom. I fully embrace Tony Wagner’s Twenty-first Century Survival Skills and see the future success that comes from learning them early.
Finally, a teacher should genuinely care for their students. This requires listening, reacting rationally, and making decisions that are based upon what is best for the student at all times. Being available for extra help is mandatory for any math teacher and my students will know that they can count on me to be there when they need me!