My role as a 5th Grade Classroom Teacher is to create an engaging and safe environment in the classroom where curiosity and creativity are nurtured. Teaching all the subjects to one group of students allows me to integrate subjects together and help students learn the interconnections between learning, skills and ideas.
I started teaching at ATS in 2001. I taught 4th grade for one year and have been teaching 5th grade ever since. Prior to that I taught in Fairfax County for five years. I am a career changer and worked as an engineer for nine years prior to becoming a teacher. I earned my teaching degree through an excellent year long internship that was a partnership between Marymount University and Fairfax County Public Schools. I have been a life-long competitive swimmer, and my first experiences with children were teaching swim lessons and coaching.
I have done many different things throughout my life. I use these varied experiences to help me in my teaching. I got my first job when I was 13 and have been pretty much working ever since, doing things ranging from being a busboy, working in a Burger King, and coaching elite swimmers. Three constants through my life have been swimming, cycling, and having pet cats. I have lived in Arlington for over 30 years and was fortunate enough to have both my daughter and son attend ATS.
Some of my fondest childhood reading memories revolve around hearing and reading Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” (I have a copy of the book that was published in 1926 from my Grandmother). Since becoming a teacher, in my opinion, all of Roald Dahl’s books fall in the category of must reads in elementary school.