"Communication leads to community, that is,
to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing." Rollo May

Effective Collaborator
Given my age and previous salaried and volunteer work in educational settings, I have built a strong set of communication, teaming, and collaboration skills. Whether working as a management consultant, preschool administrator, or PTA volunteer, I bring an extroverted manner and invariably positive outlook to my teams. wm_conceptual_framework.jpg

In my recent work at Rock Spring preschool, I led my staff in many collaborative efforts to systematize our curriculum and our communications. For example, during my tenure I standardized the format and content of our parent-teacher conferences and required teachers to present written feedback to our parents twice a year. I worked with staff to craft both a "Parent Conference Information Sharing Form" and information about how to prepare for parent teacher conferences. I also collaborated with PIE and ChildFind staff and private therapists to coordinate special education services for my students in my preschool classrooms.

Effective educators nurture strong communications with parents. My preschool position and my leadership roles in parent-teacher associations provided me with extensive experience communicating with parents in conferences, school orientations, and in written documents such as Rock Spring's monthly newsletter. I am well versed in creating opportunities for families' meaningful involvement in their students’ education. To that end, I genuinely welcome parent involvement in the classroom as a means to build strong working relationships and a united front in case of discipline issues and academic challenges and as a way to gain valuable insight into student motivation and home culture and expectations.
William and Mary's 2011 Elementary Cohort inductees to Kappa Delta Pi

In my coursework at William and Mary, collaboration has been addressed not as a theoretical construct but as an actualized skill set that has been practiced and developed in authentic settings. As part of the masters program, I have collaborated with my cooperating teachers, school paraprofessionals and specialists, an intern in William and Mary’s school counselor program, and with fellow student teachers. In my autumn practicum, I collaborated with three peers on a semester-long unit on the empire of ancient Mali, with another colleague on a states of matter science module, and with two student teachers on a discovery circus about animal adaptations. I also created a sample newsletter as a means to introduce myself to my classroom parents at the start of student teaching.

As a student teacher at Matoaka Elementary School, I collaborated with the third-grade faculty on curriculum resource development. For example, I drafted "mind notes" (or student SOL study packets) for our natural cycles science unit and the Mali social studies unit. I also worked regularly with other full time student teachers to create PowerPoints and study guides for classroom instruction in math and language arts.

Educational Leader
Musical scale staircase activity (learned at Lab School workshop)

I am a longtime member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and have recently served multiple years as a Board Member of the regional professional representing Northern Virginia cooperative preschools, the Potomac Association of Cooperative Teachers. I am a new member of National Science Teachers Association, the International Reading Association, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I was recently inducted into William and Mary's chapter of the educational honor society of Kappa Delta Pi.

In fulfillment of continuing education requirements for my preschool directorship, I attended at least 15 hours of professional development annually. I enrolled in workshops and attended seminars at many institutions in the DC metropolitan area including the Lab School of Washington, the Ivymount School in Rockville, National Institute of Mental Health, George Mason's Education School Professional Development programs, Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime Center, the Kennedy Krieger School, and many sensory processing workshops by Carol Stock Kranowitz. I then actively applied the knowledge and activities gathered in this professional development in my seven preschool classes.

William and Mary's delegation to 2011 Teachers of Promise Institute

This spring, I was honored to be selected by the William and Mary Elementary Education faculty as their 2011 Teacher of Promise . At the March Teachers of Promise Institute, I attended professional development workshops organized by the Virginia Milken Educator Network and led by educators who are recipients of the Milken Family Foundation awards. I was later able to implement knowledge from two of these workshops in my student teaching classroom, incorporating hands-on math activities into an area and perimeter review and twice using an interactive review activity in my science instruction of natural cycles and animal life cycles.

Reflective Practitioner
I tend to be naturally reflective, revising activities and lessons as I present them in class. In my preschool work, this tendency was reflected in my systematic revisions of documents and presentations in our annual school-year cycle. I reflected and revised with the aim of improving communication with and responsiveness to our parent community, streamlining operations and strengthening personnel systems for staff, and enhancing curriculum and resources for our young students.

In my practicum and student teaching at Matoaka, I scrutinized each of my lessons and made revisions to edit and improve instruction for my students. I have been fortunate to have opportunities to present the same lesson multiple times to different groups of students thus allowing me to actualize these edits. I taught the lesson I wrote on oobleck phase change five separate times to Matoaka's third grade classes. Each time, I reflected on the most successful aspects of the lesson as well as where revisions might improve learning. Another lesson I revised was the original animal adaptations discovery circus I created with two colleagues. When I later taught this lesson to two third grade classes, I revised this animal adaptations discovery circus to simplify both the language and the student activity stations. These edits improved the readability of the student cards and streamlined the activities thus enhancing student engagement and learning.

Content Expert (see Foundational Understandings)