The opportunity to learn and access to free quality education are every child’s right. Education access should be equitable, and classrooms should be welcoming, safe, and encouraging spaces. As a special education teacher I work toward making this a reality for children of diverse abilities and backgrounds. My classroom is a place where students will learn important academic and life skills, engage in critical thinking, and feel encouraged to connect what they learn to their lived experiences. By scaffolding and differentiating assessments and assignments, both formative and summative, following the guidelines of UDL (Universal Design for Learning), I want to empower all of my students to live up to their highest potential and successfully master California learning standards.
I have high expectations for all of my students, but I am also sensitive to the needs of each individual child. As a trained social worker and a former English Learner with training in instructing current English Learners, I am familiar with both the struggles and enormous potential of the students in my classroom. As an experienced researcher, I have learned to examine and synthesize information quickly, a skill I use to keep myself updated about current research in education and new developments in available supports, including assistive technology. Accountability and transparency are important to me, and my students and their families can expect me to design learning experiences and assessments based on research-based educational principles and always make my students’ success a priority.
To meet the needs of 21st-century learners preparing to succeed in a fast-paced global society, I stress critical thinking, collaborative learning, creativity, and media and digital literacy. To that end, authentic texts and digital tools are an integral part of my instruction. However, as a historian, I also encourage my students to know their history and understand its importance for the present. Similarly, I believe that learning can only be successful if it extends beyond the classroom walls. I engage parents by keeping them informed about their child’s progress, regularly inviting them to the classroom, and promoting clear lines of communication. I value community connections and promote encounters and exchange during classroom visits and field trips. My goal is to provide students with ways to connect what they learn in the classroom to the world around them early on.
I see my students as individuals with unique talents and needs. My ultimate goal is to help them succeed in the world outside the classroom and support their academic and personal growth. This includes all the academic fundamentals, e.g. language, literacy, math and science, social sciences, and the arts. However, it also goes far beyond that. I encourage my students to take care of themselves and others by leading a healthy life, developing empathy and an appreciation for diversity, and, ultimately, a sense of their place in their communities and the world at large.