"Education exists to nourish the soul." Ruth J. Simmons, President of Brown University
Philosophy of Teaching
Simmons states very succinctly my own philosophy of teaching and learning. Inspired by the Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Education and the Characteristics of a Marianist Education, CJ seeks to be a soul nourishing place. It is the mission of our school and specifically the students who come to us that drives me a teacher. As an English teacher, I believe literacy is the most powerful force in a student's life. Students should discover their own process for writing and recognize their voice in their writing as well. As a teacher I aim to structure class for student success, demand the most from them and have fun at the same time.
As English department chair, I am very proud to lead our department in many successful curriculum developments and various initiatives. Through the curriculum mapping process, we have created consensus maps for English 10, 11 and the senior elective World Literature. We have recently launched World LIterature as an online course. We sponsor three writing contests in and outside of the school and host an annual gathering of 6th, 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teachers to explore various topics in English education. Our department is a department of teacher leaders fully aware of the impact we have in our classroom and the greater CJ community.
Professional Experience and Achievements
Currently I am pursuing a licensure in Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development. Specific research interest and recent conference presentations include building a classroom community through assessing student writing and incorporating social justice issues into the curriculum. I am passionate about many social justice issues and have been personally and professionally inspired by Sister Dorothy Stang's life as an advocate for the poor and the environment.
Paper and Conference Presentations
- “Building a Community of Writers” Ohio Council of Teachers of Language Arts, March 2009
- “Reading, Writing and Searching for the Truth: Teaching Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and McBride's The Color of Water" National Council of Teachers of English Conference, November 2006
- "Beyond the Red Pen: Clarifying Our Role in the Response Process" English Journal Publication, September 2000
- “RSVP” National Council of Teachers of English Conference, November 1999
- “Voices and Visions: Teachers as Writers” The Ohio Writing Project Spring Conference, 1996
- “Develop Habits of Leadership” Leadership for Student Activities, September 1995
- “A Student-Centered Approach to Multicultural Teaching" National Council of Teachers of English Conference, November 1994
- “Reader Response Strategies in the High School Classroom” Ohio Council of Teachers of English Arts. Spring 1993