- Middle School History teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
- Faculty Advisor for the Games for Change Club
- Co-Founder of edcamp philly
- Board member of the edcamp Foundation
- Member of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Mentor Advisory Board
- Author of three article for ISTE’s Learning and Leading
- Conference Presenter – “Using Twitter to Build a Professional Learning Network,” “Movement as a 21st Century Skill,” “Collaboration: Learn it, Use it, Teach it,” “From Thinking to Being a Risk-Taking Teacher.”
I am one of those people who knew that they wanted to teach from the very beginning. I use to line up my younger siblings and make them play school, with me as the teacher, of course. I studied English, education and religion in college. I went on and got an MEd, where I developed a love of creating curriculum to meet the needs of individual classes and subjects. Originally, the plan was to be an elementary school teacher. My student teaching was in a 3rd grade classroom, and my first job was as a 5th grade teacher in a small, Epispocal school in Los Angeles. I had gotten a call in August that they needed a teacher and was I willing to go? Since they were offering to pay me $9,000 to do what I loved, there was no question about it. (It was in 1973, not a lot of money even back then!).
Then came the years of parenting and home-schooling four children. I started home-schooling in response to a dare. “You would be good at this,” said a woman I knew, who ended up sending her girls to school after a year. I, on the other hand, got hooked on the joy of learning and growing with our children. I got to pace our days based on what the kids and I needed for that day. The mornings were filled with directed lessons, field trips and lots of exploration. The afternoons were for “Quiet Time,” time for each child to be alone in his or her room with some assignments and lots of books, drawing materials and paper. As one of my sons says, “Colored pencils plus Quiet Time = Creativity.” Boredom often created the impetus or the silence in which they could hear their own voice.
When all of the kids had reached high school, I went back into the classroom, landing a job teaching history and English at an all girls school in Philadelphia, close to where we were living at the time. I have been here almost 10 years now. I became fascinated by the possibilities of the 2.0 world when I was part of our team for the Powerful Learning Practices, led by Will Richardson and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. The process of learning the new skills reawakened in me a love of learning – facing the challenges, searching for answers, sharing insights. The more I learned, the more excited I became about understanding and employing the new tools in my classroom.
In the year since I started this blog, my world has changed due to the connections that I have made with educators around the world. Those people have encouraged and challenged me to grow and reach beyond the boundaries of my personal classroom and world. It has led to having articles published and presenting at conferences. I am now a member of the Library of Congress’ Mentor Advisor group to help build an online teacher network for “Teaching with Primary Sources.” Every day has become about learning and growing, seeking to enhance my understanding of my students and of the world in which they are growing up. In the process, I have found new passions and rediscovered old ones. It is a wonderful journey!