Springfield, IL Public Schools District #186
October 2014 – Present
Paraprofessional Educator, 1:1 working with students and staff in a self-contained life skills classroom, EC/DK, 3-5 and K-2 Cross-Categorial classroom.
Chatham, IL School District
Grundy Country Special Education Cooperative
November 2007 – May 2014
Paraprofessional working closely with students and staff in the general education, cross-categorial, resource, and self-contained settings.
Grand Canyon University, Arizona
2019 – Present
Masters in Special Education
Blackburn College, Illinois
2003 – 2007
Bachelors in Graphic Design
The student teaching process for me was different from the traditional teacher candidates due to my years as a paraprofessional educator. As such, my learning process has been ongoing since 2008 when I began in special education. I’ve been gifted with this opportunity to learn from other educators their classroom management techniques, how to interact with students, and basically how to do things and how not to do things.
Taking these theories and placing them into practice has certainly been a fun experiment. Therefore, I feel my philosophy of teaching has naturally developed over the course of the previous decade. When one starts from a place of love, all other things seem to fall into their proper place. This includes loving both the art of teaching as well as loving the primary purpose of the position: the child themselves. Absent this love, any effort is wasted.
The resent shifts in education to a more technology-forward classroom are like a gift, bow and all, for me. As a deep lover and early adopter of technology, I am already using new engagement strategies in the classroom teaching my fellow teachers as I go. My go-to tool is the iPad pro streaming to an Apple TV/projector where I can write, highlight, and manipulate items on the screen.
Approaching teaching with a missional perspective is perhaps what has most driven me through this entire process and I would point to as my ‘why.’ Principle Davis of Franklin Middle School (Springfield, IL) often reminds his staff to think of our ‘why,’ or the reason we entered the teaching profession. I enter each day with the goal of going into the classroom and loving each of them. From that, all other things happen in their own way.
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