Welcome Ospreys to 5th grade English Language Arts. I am excited about the new school year, 2020-2021. I look forward to getting to know you, and engaging you in meaningful learning activities, to stretch you and tickle your curiosity and joy of learning.
My teaching career has been exciting and varied. I graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 1986, where I grew up and went to school. I majored in English and Geography. I started teaching at Camps Bay High School teaching Geography. Then I decided to travel and see the world, so I went to England where I taught at the Hertfordshire and Essex Girls' High School and taught O and A level Geography, and got to see a lot of England and Europe while I was there for two years. I returned to South Africa and taught at several schools, before coming to America as a Visiting International Faculty teacher in 2000 as part of a cultural exchange program. Before coming to KMS, I spent 17 years at Sequoyah Middle School in Dekalb County, teaching 6th and 7th grade on the gifted and high achievers' team. I am Gifted and ELL certified.
During my time as an exchange teacher, I met my husband Jim, a cinematographer, at book club, got married and we now have a son Dexter who will be in the 8th grade. I also have a stepdaughter Skye, who is studying Fine Arts in Amsterdam, and a stepson Zane, who is learning to become a welder. As a family we love to travel and spend time in the outdoors camping and hiking. We have a cat, Jessie, a springer spaniel Charley and 5 free-range chickens. Over the summer we hope to do some early morning kayak trips, swim, walk in the various urban forests of Atlanta, and enjoy tomatoes from our vegetable garden. This is the summer of the pandemic for all of us, and most of our plans changed, but I hope to make the best of it and enjoy continued walks with my dog and take some time to slow down and get better at some of my hobbies, and enjoy many good books in the sunshine! Also, I intend to become more "tech Savvy" so that I will be better equipped. I am currently enrolled in the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Summer Learning Academy which has over 3000 teachers enrolled from around the world, and it is a 3 week course getting educators prepared for digital learning.
This year I look forward to teaching you all. I love the enthusiasm and insight of your young minds. There is so much positive and creative energy at Kittredge ,and I am looking forward to channeling this into lots of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the classroom. I love to explore cross-curricular connections with the other subjects in the ELA classroom and to do authentic assignments that are relevant to what is going on around us right now; like equity and sustainability. I want you to have a voice that you feel is being heard. Because of this, we will spend time reading each other’s work and giving each other positive feedback. Through reading and reflecting, writing, listening and speaking every student can be an advocate for themselves and for change to bring about a better world. Every student should have fun learning, develop self-confidence and independence, and show academic and personal growth as we explore more complex texts and writing tasks. My favorite activity in ELA is our Book Clubs because you put all the skills you have learned into practice, and I love to see how it inspires you to read independently.
Parents and guardians, I look forward to meeting you and getting to know you all. Please do not hesitate to contact me concerning your student should the need arise. The best way to reach me is via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until we meet virtually - signing off "Optimisticos" and set the world on fire! We will make this a great school year in spite of the unprecedented circumstances, because that is what humans do. Read "Fish in a Tree" and get fired up for the new school year happening soon......