I began teaching first grade at Bishop Marshall School in August of 2006. I am thrilled to work here everyday and hope to stay here forever.
After growing up in Massachusetts and attending Tufts University in Medford, MA, I spent 2 years teaching 5th grade in rural Arkansas in the Mississippi Delta through the Teach For America program. As my 2-year commitment was coming to a close, I wanted to return to New England. I told friends that my dream job would be to teach 3rd grade in Burlington, Vermont (not too specific, I know). Well after many resumes had been sent out, sure enough I ended up teaching 3rd grade in Burlington! I loved it there, but after 7 years, my husband needed to move to Montana for a post doctorate in biochemistry. We knew we would be there for about 5 years, but hoped to return to Vermont. Fortunately, he was able to return to UVM with a research and teaching position and I was able to work here. Now I realize this is my dream job.
We now live in Waterbury with our two boys, Ty and Dylan, where we can enjoy skiing, hiking, biking and swimming. Our boys attend BJAMS, so I am lucky to be a close part of their learning experience. Also I can help coach their soccer teams and organize their school ski program. It is a great situation.
In our first grade classroom, we follow the Saxon program for math and phonics. However, we do try to put a little more fun and interaction into the lessons. With these 2 subjects as our foundation, we meet in groups for reading while students have independent reading and writing activities.
Similarly, we can work on writing projects such as descriptive paragraphs and stories at a more individual level. We also include science and social studies themes into our writing and art projects to extend our learning. We try to stay engaged and active throughout the day following the responsive classroom model. Fortunately, since we start our day with religion, we can use that to set the tone for how we treat each other and remind us what is really most important in our world.
Each year I look forward to the new group of first graders and any new students who may have enrolled. It is a big family here at BJAMS and I feel blessed to be a part of it.
B.A. Child Study, Tufts University