After high-school graduation in May 2011, I started at the University of Nebraska, Kearney (UNK) where I began as a Graphic Design major. After taking Calculus 1, Calculus 2, and Calculus 3 for fun, and doing Calculus homework to de-stress before an interview, I decided I had a new found passion for Mathematics and added it as a dual degree. In 2013, I decided I wanted to take on new experiences and challenges and transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) where I focused on animation/moving graphics for my graphic design emphasis. As I pursued both of my degrees I started to discover I enjoyed my Mathematics major more and I wanted to focus solely on that degree. Thus, I began working towards my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics concentration in Data Science. I also had enough credits to get an Art History minor. While completing my final semester at UNO I was actively applying for a variety of jobs, in math fields. However, after every interview, I left believing I could do more, have a bigger impact on people's lives, and connect with people on a deeper level. When I found out about the Mathematics Teaching position at Clearwater-Orchard Public Schools and learned I could gain a transitional license to teach, I knew this was the right opportunity for me. I proceeded through the process of applying/interviewing and was offered and accepted the position gladly. A few weeks later, on May 6, 2016, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with my Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a concentration in Data Science and minor in Art History.
This brings me to where I am today! An excited new teacher ready to learn and pursue a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Transitional Certification from UNK. So, what makes me qualified for this position one might ask? I will let my Professional Autobiography answer this question!
My professional qualifications include my Bachelor of Science degree from UNO in Mathematics with a concentration in Data Science and minor in Art History. Along with this degree, UNO held an online Title 9 training for all students which I completed, therefore I am Title 9 Trained as well. I also received my Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Certification through UNO's Ambassador program which is valid until 05/21/2017.
I also have a variety of professional experiences as well. On May 19, 2016, I assisted with creating and updating the math curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year. I served as a UNO Student Ambassador for three years. This position taught me how to talk to a variety of students and parents, and adapt my tour/information accordingly. I have also taught and led Vacation Bible School (VBS) for more than five years, including one VBS which was done bilingually. Along with these recent experiences and jobs, I have served as a group leader for a variety of classes including Mathematics courses (where I was explaining the mathematical terminology for the lay students involved), and a small group communication class. Lastly, I have experience in public speaking and leadership experience, from High School Speech and serving a State Officer for FCCLA, but I didn't just stop after high school, I continued in college as the presenter at District FCCLA conferences and State Future Educators of America (FEA) Conference as well.
Being a new teacher, I have both professional and education goals of which I am excited to work toward and implement. I hope that throughout my career when my students are asked what they thought about being in my classroom they would respond that I encouraged, inspired and supported them while providing them with the tools and strategies necessary to pursue their interests. My desire is to help each student where they are with their learning whether it is helping those who struggle to be successful or those who do well and are able to excel in their learning. Upon completion of my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. I hope to have gained a clear understanding of the curriculum. I want to make sure that I understand the Nebraska standards and their connections to the state adopted curriculum in my district. Through this understanding, I will be able to start with the end in mind and plan my instruction backward with all of my decisions being based on assessments. It will be important for me to focus my teaching around assessments and be able to adapt the lessons to the different learning styles of my students. A second desire of this program is that it teaches me about different technologies that I can utilize in the classroom and how to effectively and efficiently use them in and out of the classroom. One area I am hoping to explore is the flipped classrooms. I will have conversations with those who are already implementing it and do personal research. I would then try the flipped classroom approach in my own classroom. Due to the small class sizes, I have the goal to learn as much as I can about each student emotionally, academically, and socially in order to assist in differentiated instruction. My 4th goal is to make math more relevant to today's student and show them the everyday utilization of the mathematics that they are learning. Lastly, I hope to be able to discuss with other educators in similar situations to see what classroom management systems work for them and be able to work through the various challenges that face teachers today.
Professional and Education Goals:
Use of Technology:
Through my collegiate career, I have learned a variety of different technological applications that I intend to use in the classroom. Since Clearwater-Orchard Public School is a one-to-one school with Chromebooks, I intend to utilize the Chromebook during review day. On the day before a test, when we do a review, I will use a Kahoot to show a problem, have the students work it out, and then I will be able to view the percentage of students that answered correctly. I can review concepts for the test. I also will be using this website to post assignment due dates, along with links to helpful videos, and other items of interest. Lastly, as a recent graduate, I had to submit homework assignments a variety of ways through technology, and I want to incorporate that into my classroom for the upperclassmen to prepare them for submitting assignments online prior to entering college. I will have the juniors start submitting assignments via email in .pdf format during the second semester, and the seniors will do it the entire year, using email to start, and then moving into anther assignment submission website second semester (such as Google Classroom). Incorporating technology into a Mathematics classroom can be challenging, but as I evolve this year in teaching I might be able to explore other ways to incorporate more technology into the classroom. I enjoy technology and am familiar with programming in R, SQL, and Java. I also used the Adobe Programs, when I was a Graphic Design/Media Art major, these programs include Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, and Audition. I have experience with making websites using Weebly, Google Sites, Wix, and WordPress. Lastly, I have a variety of Office Software use including the Microsoft Office Programs (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint), Mac Office Programs (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), and Google Drive Programs (Docs, Sheets, and Slides). I utilize the iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox as well. I embrace technology and know how much the students enjoy it and hope to learn about different programs that are able to be incorporated into the classroom.
Experience with Diversity:
Lastly, experience with diversity is important to have when teaching and pursuing a Masters program in Curriculum and Instruction. I have definitely had experience with diversity throughout my collegiate career. My sophomore year (2012-2013) I served as a Peer Mentor for my scholarship (Susan Thompson Buffet) where I met with students one-on-one to talk about how everything was going with the transition into college, academic wise, and personally. Through this experience, I mentored a variety of different ethnicities along with people who came from a diverse home/family life. I learned how to interact with them along with what they were going through. Starting my Junior year, I became a tour guide (later turned to Ambassador) for UNO where I quickly learned how to talk to a variety of age groups including 4th graders, to adult learners, to seniors in high school. It was necessary to portray the information in a way that interested them and made them appreciate all that UNO had to offer. This diversity in age and background was important and helped me grow as a tour guide and personally. As mentioned above with VBS, I dealt with diverse ages and languages. Talking to the parents and children who knew limited English forced me to adapt my lesson to fit what they knew and incorporate my knowledge of Spanish into the lessons. All of these experiences along with having diverse classes and study groups has helped me appreciate and learn about other cultures, ages, and ethnicities, and has truly been beneficial and will directly play a role into my teaching in the future. I recognize the students that I am teaching come from a rural community and a lot have knowledge of farming, which is what most of the families do. Thus, if I can incorporate this knowledge of their backgrounds into my lessons they will have a better understanding of the material and will be able to see how the information that they are learning today will impact each of them in their future endeavors whether that be agriculture or being a doctor.