All About Me
- This is my 11th year teaching at Village Elementary School.
- I have one son, Sebastian, and another on the way.
- We have a cat named Aslan.
- I love to read.
- I love animals.
- I love to be outdoors.
- I love to travel and take pictures.
- I love to LEARN!
More about the things that interest me:
I absolutely love to read. I try to read as much as possible and if there is one thing I would love to do everyday, all day, it is read. I read teaching books, best sellers, classics, and all the children’s literature I can get my hands on. I am a book-a-holic. Most of the books in our classroom library are from my own personal collection, and I share them to help you love books as much as I do. If you are ever looking for a great book to read, let me know and I will be happy to help.
I love animals. For many summers I worked in the Philadelphia Zoo, teaching children about animals and conservation, in the wild and in zoos. I loved doing this because it allowed me to handle animals and TEACH about them! (I have handled many kinds of snakes, lizards, baby alligators, turtles and tortoises, frogs, insects – like the Madagascan hissing cockroach, macaws, parrots, cockatiels, screech and borrowing owls, kestrals, chickens, ducks, ferrets, rats, rabbits, hedgehogs, tenrecs, porcupines, 3-banded and 9-banded armadillos, chinchillas, and sugar gliders.) I know tons about animals and love to talk about them, so if you have a question or want to talk please let me know. Also if you are thinking of getting a pet let me know and I can provide lots of information – especially if you think you want something exotic.
I like to travel. I have been to many places in the United States and also to overseas. So far I have traveled to Canada, Italy, Kenya, Tahiti, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and the UK but that is only the beginning. My most exciting adventure was living in Kenya in a tent for 6 weeks studying ecology, evolution, archeology, and anthropology. There I participated in archeological digs, studied baboons living in the desert and in the savannas (another word for grasslands), and learned about the culture and lives of different groups of people living in the country.
I like to be outdoors. I like to garden and I have many plants in my classroom and at home. I like to go for walks, hike, camp, and kayak with my husband and son. I love to explore nature and to watch animals. In my yard, I watch snakes, groundhogs, moles, robins, woodpeckers, song birds, frogs, deer, squirrels, and lots of other animals that come and go looking for food. I have recently learned to identify different birds of prey, so one of my favorite things to do when I'm outside is to look up and search for hawks and kestrels in the sky.
I like to take pictures. I have a lot of experience with photography from being the Editor-in-Chief of my college yearbook for 4 years. Now it has become one of my hobbies. I have a SLR camera that I use to explore the world through its lens.
I have a domestic long-haired cat, named Aslan. He was found in the parking lot of the apartment complex where I was living in the middle of winter, almost frozen. We took him in and he never left. Can you guess who he is named after? He loves to hunt and spend all day outside, too. Check out what he looks like below. I would love to get another dog and a cockatiel, ball python (type of snake), rat, and ferret, but I don’t see how they could all live together – so for now it is just Aslan.
And believe it or not I really like to learn. I like to learn about other places, other people, how things work, basically anything.
Likes and Dislikes:
- Favorite holiday: Halloween & Christmas, but I really like getting together with family and friends for any occasion.
- Favorite ice cream flavor: Vanilla or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- Favorite season: If I had to pick one it would be fall, but I really like all the seasons for different reasons.
- Favorite sport to play: I like to play almost any sport even though I am not that great an athlete. I don’t have a favorite.
- Favorite sport to watch: Hockey
- Favorite team: Philadelphia Flyers
- Favorite school subject: I really can’t pick one; I love them all.
- Favorite foods: I love peaches, anything made with apples, Bavarian cream doughnuts, ham, my homemade raviolis and sauce, fish and chips, French fries, grilled cheese, and pizza. (Just to name a few.)
- Favorite Color: green
- Favorite music: Rock & Roll
I was born and raised in South Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia in an area that looks as I am told Montgomery did 20 years ago – without the hills. I grew up around many farms, to which I attribute my love of fruits, vegetables, and animals. I have always been very involved in school – from birth in fact as my mom is a high school teacher – and I feel quite at home here in Village Elementary School in Montgomery, NJ.
After high school, I went to Rutgers University and attained a Bachelors of Science in Evolutionary Anthropology. This is the study of the evolution of the human race. I took classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and primatology (the study of primates) as well as classes in ecology, archeology, social structures, psychology, and evolution.
I then earned a Masters in Elementary Education with a specialization in Literacy from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. (I also hold a Teaching Certificate for Middle School Science.)
I love to learn so I have continued my studies even while I am teaching. I completed Responsive Classroom Level 1 Training in August of 2008. I have also pursued extensive training in literacy instruction from the Columbia Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project and attended their July Institute for Teaching Reading in 2009, the August Institute for Teaching Writing in 2011, the August Institute for Teaching Reading - Advanced Sessions on Struggling Readers & Informational Texts in 2012, and finally the February Institute for Content Area Literacy in 2013.
In November 2013 I successfully completed my National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. National Board Certification is a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that ensures that Board-certified teachers have proven skills to advance student achievement. It is an advanced teaching credential conferred by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. As part of this process teachers must analyze their teaching context and students’ needs, submit videos of their teaching, respond to classroom scenarios, and provide student work samples to demonstrate a strong command of content, an ability to design appropriate learning experiences that advance student learning, the use of assessments to inform instructional decision making, and partnerships with colleagues, parents and the community.
When I am not teaching, I also work as a Instructional Coach, Curriculum Writer, and Educational Consultant.