I'm in my seventh year of mentoring and have enjoyed working in Athabascan, Inupiat, Yupik, and Siberian Yupik communities around the state.
It seems as if I have been teaching since childhood. I always wanted to share my knowledge of music, wildlife and books with others. It was natural for me to pursue a degree in elementary education with a minor in science from the University of Maine. Later when I realized that there were students who needed different methods of instruction, I returned to the University of Maine and received my Masters in special education. Since then, I have taught for 34 years in regular education (kindergarten and 3rd grade), K-9 resource, and K-8 gifted and talented. I been a resource teacher in rural Maine, an itinerant, designing and monitoring programs for special needs and gifted students in the Yukon Flats, and held a variety of teaching positions in the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District.
During this past year, I had the pleasure of working with 14 first and second year teachers in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Along with these Early Career Teachers, I also responded to requests for advice from other teachers, administrators, and community members. The discussions and level of trust that I enjoyed with these folks was rewarding, as was their improved performance in the classroom and their comfort level in their communities.
All students are learners. As a teacher, I build on the students' knowledge to bring them to a higher level of academic performance and critical thinking. I feel that the involvement of parents and the community are essential to the growth of the children's success as learners. I also feel that students have things to teach me as well. Learning from others, respecting individual differences and providing a safe learning environment is the way that I can create a positive atmosphere for learning.