Professional Autobiography and Teaching Philosophy
As the oldest of three sisters, I have always been the teacher and leader of the pack. As a young girl, I planned and implemented lessons on mathematics, ballet, gymnastics and anything else I was currently interested in. My sisters and cousins were my loyal pupils and our basement was our creative classroom that I decorated and organized to align with the lesson of the day. This enthusiasm for teaching and leadership only strengthened with time. The huge difference now is that I believe in supporting my students with what they want to learn (as opposed to what my youthful self wanted to share). I love project based learning, discovering solutions with my students, facilitating wonders about our world, and guiding students as they apply academic learning to their passions.
Education at School and Outside
Originally from New Hampshire, I moved to Colorado in 2000 and graduated from CU Boulder in 2004. After a few years of traveling and teaching English abroad in Jiangxi Province, China, I moved to Crested Butte in 2007 to teach skiing at the Adaptive Sports Center. I have a strong background in outdoor education with over 18 years as both an adaptive instructor and river guide. I still spend my summers in Idaho guiding week long trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. My outdoor education experience has taught me to be a valuable team member, an innovative problem solver, and excellent planner. I apply these skills everyday in my current position as a 2nd grade teacher.
I received my teaching certificate and my Masters in Education through Western Colorado University. My research for this degree focused on how self-reflection and feedback affect students’ motivation for future learning. Self-reflection has been a valuable tool that has helped me achieve success in my careers and personal relationships. Effective feedback is a practice I strive to do well but am often stifled by limited time. My action research, combined with a thorough literature review, highlighted ways that I can be more effective with my feedback and a better facilitator of students’ self-reflection.
Into the Classroom
My path from an outdoor professional to an elementary teacher was supported by outstanding mentors. After working with inspiring teachers as a student teacher and permanent substitute at Crested Butte Community School, I joined an exceptional team of 4th grade teachers at Gunnison Community School. In 2017, I returned to Crested Butte Community School and joined another extraordinary 4th grade team. Ready for a new challenge, I moved to 2nd grade in 2019 and discovered a passion for teaching 7 and 8 year olds. I have enjoyed becoming more involved in our school community, through coaching after school, leading the elementary drama club, professional development with my colleagues, and collaborating with staff on interdisciplinary projects.
Every day in 2nd grade, I work hard to be a model for my students. I model compassion and empathy by treating each student as a unique learner with individual needs and strengths. I model how to learn by requesting feedback, collaborating with colleagues and self-reflecting on successes and failures. I model passion by being a motivated educator who believes in the capabilities of every student. I share stories from my travels and life experiences and talk about what I learned along the way. Sometimes, I jump up and down, speak loudly, speak in a whisper, add drama during read aloud, and overall exhibit enthusiasm and belief in everything we do.
I have found my current niche in 2nd grade and appreciate the creativity, curiosity, focus, silliness, and motivation of this age group. I enjoy learning how to teach different grade levels and plan to continue seeking out new challenge. As my career continues to evolve, I trust that my values in this profession will stick with me. I believe in inclusive learning environments, student collaboration with peers who have very different strengths, student opportunities to apply our learning in our backyard, teaching students to be reflective learners, and learning with my students everyday. These interests and beliefs will guide me as I work to become a leading educator in my community.
PO Box 2427, Crested Butte, CO 81224
303-845-0104 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Colorado University, MA in Education May 2019
Colorado Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education, May 2015
University of Colorado at Boulder, BA in Psychology May 2004
2nd and 4th Grade Teacher August 2016 - present
Crested Butte Community School and Gunnison Community School Crested Butte and Gunnison, CO
Collaborate with teachers and administration to provide exceptional and differentiated instruction for all students across all subjects.
Creatively align project based learning units with curriculum and state standards to allow for varied demonstrations of learning and high levels of student engagement.
Work with current class to build and maintain an inclusive and respectful learning environment.
Enthusiastically coach Girls on the Run, lead the elementary drama club, and promote positive change through leadership teams (response to intervention team facilitator, science leadership team, and school safety leadership team).
Substitute Teacher and 2nd Grade Permanent Substitute Spring 2014, Spring 2015
Crested Butte Community School, Crested Butte High School, Gunnison Community School and Gunnison High School Crested Butte and Gunnison, CO
Foreign English Teacher September 2005 - June 2006
Bailuzhou Senior Middle School Ji’an City, Jiangxi, China
Designed English language lessons for 14 year olds in classes of up to 70 students.
Taught English to 1,500 students, most of whom had never met a foreigner.
Experimented with dancing, acting, playing music, playing soccer and hosting dinners to learn how to communicate effectively in a foreign culture and become part of the community.
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
Adaptive Instructor Winters 2007 - present, Summers 2011 - 2013
Adaptive Sports Center Crested Butte, CO
Through sit-down and stand-up ski lessons, facilitate and encourage self-discovery of students’ abilities.
Coordinated program logistics and instructed summer activities (2011-2013).
Strengthen program by training adaptive instructors and volunteers (2010 - present) and representing organization as a traveling instructor and trainer.
Guide and Trip Leader Summers 2000 - 2010, 2014 - present
Idaho River Adventures, Mackay Wilderness River Trips, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, North American River Runners, Wilderness Aware Rafting Salmon and Sun Valley, ID, Flagstaff, AZ, Hico, WV and Buena Vista, CO
Guide and lead multi-day commercial whitewater trips.
Train guides in whitewater, interpersonal and logistics skills.
Rocky Mountain Professional Ski Instructor, Adaptive Examiner and Education Staff, Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue