My name is, Katherine Smith and I would like to welcome you to my page! My personal mission is to facilitate knowledge in a way that helps children reach their full potential academically, emotionally and socially in a way that inspires them to be life-long learners!
My Personal Education-
I graduated in 1997, from Newbury Park High school. Go Panthers! During High school I pursued knowledge of the arts, philosophy, psychology and was involved with amnesty international. http://www.nphs.org/
1) Cabrillo Junior College- I attended Cabrillo Junior College, in beautiful Santa Cruz, for 1 year directly after graduating from high school. http://www.cabrillo.edu/
2) Moorpark Junior College- I attended Moorpark Junior college for 2 years and then graduated with my AA degree and required courses to enter into the Political Science department at California State University Northridge. During my studies at Moorpark I sat on the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honors Society. Some of my responsibilities included community outreach projects, organizing and helping to run fund raisers for cancer research and scholarship funds, assisting in campus development and learning projects. I also volunteered for the women's center, in which I organized and ran events on campus involving women in the community, their careers and educational pursuits. Lastly, I was recruited to participate in the campaign process was Linda Parks. Mrs. Parks won the election and became a Ventura County Supervisor, and after the election she awarded me a paid internship in her office. I graduated in 2001, with honors and received several academic and community based scholarship awards. I truly enjoyed my time in Junior College and believe that this route to four year degree provides an excellent opportunity to explore different career paths while being financially affordable. http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/
California State University Northridge (CSUN)- I completed my BA degree in Political Science at CSUN and graduated in 2005. I graduated with honors and received the highest scholarship award given by my department. http://www.csun.edu/
California State University Northridge- After completing my BA at CSUN I continued my educational career and was accepted into the internship program for teaching children with Mild/Moderated disabilities. This means I began teaching immediately and earned a mild/moderate Level 1 Teaching Credential while teaching. While completing my level one credential I completed the courses necessary to add authorization as a specialist in autism spectrum disorder, reading instruction and instructing English Language Learners. Once my level one credential was complete I have continued on this course of study by pursuing my master’s degree in special education. I plan to complete this degree in the spring 2013 while also clearing my credential. http://www.csun.edu/education/
Why Teaching?- After being in this field for over ten years I have come to realize that teaching wasn't something I became interested in; being a teacher, a facilitator, a life-long learner in the pursuit of knowledge and a person of self-reflection has always been part of who I am. My path to realizing that I wanted to pursue this as a career started in high school with an elective class where I walked over to a local elementary school to assist in a second grade classroom. When my class ended the teacher I was working under left me with a book and some insightful words of encouragement letting me know that teaching was something I should pursue as a profession. At the time I was touched but I went in a much different direction during my under graduate studies as I pursed goals in the political arena and planned to go to law school. Fortune had other plans for me and all the while outside influences were guiding my professional direction to change. My greatest influence came from one child, who forever changed my life with her determination and endless drive to achieve and connect to a world where she faced so many challenges. I was fortunate enough to work with this child and other families through the public agency, Tri-county Regional Center. My role was to provide respect to families who had children with exceptionalities. I worked with the particular child for over seven years and during this time I was so deeply changed that I knew there was nothing more important for me to pursue then to teach and be taught by children.
Los Angeles Unified School District- I started my teaching career in LAUSD. I taught a self-contained special day class for students with emotional and behavioral challenges at Columbus middle school for two years. During this time I taught students 6-8th grade and taught all academic subjects for each grade level. During my time there I also taught a reading intervention class for at risk students for one year.
Los Virgenes Unified School District- I taught for 1 year in LVUSD under a learning center model for providing special education services to students with mild/moderate disabilities and students with moderate/severe disabilities. During this time I taught across three grade levels, 3-5, and provided a variety of instructional, collaborative, consultative and inclusive services. I also received intensive training from Autism partnership on how to service children on the spectrum.
CHIME Charter- Currently, I am in my second year teaching at CHIME, a chart school that specializes in providing a fully inclusive learning environment for all children through the use of co-teaching, collaboration and consultative service, under the philosophy that all children have the right to be educated in the same environment without segregation regardless of exceptionalities. This means that All children regardless of learning challenges or learning gifts and talents are being educated side-by-side 100% of the time. My first year at the school I co-taught in kindergarten and 2nd grade. Currently, I co-teach in 5th grade.
Contact Information- Khopesmith@gmail.com
Interest and Hobbies
Interests- Other than education:
Traveling: I am deeply passionate about traveling the world, exploring different cultures and ways of life and Investigating first hand as I explore the world. I have truly enjoyed seeing the remains of ancient Rome, Mayan temples, explore expedition sights in Guatemala and Belize, seeing the Sistine Chapel and other works of great artists and philosophers of western culture.
Community: Building and participating in community based organizations, services and outreach. I truly believe that a life of service to others and supporting a strong community are the fundamentals to having a strong civilization and building a nation our children can be proud to be members of. In addition, participating and engaging in the arts with children through the community, such as music, theater and fine arts.
Family and Friends: Enjoying the simple pleasures and enduring sorrows of life with family, friends and of course, my dog Cash!
Photography- I'm currently learning to take photography's through a more specialized view, still have a lot to learn!
Home Decor and Party Design- I love to take a space a create something artist and special that is designed around an emotion or special event. I believe the way a space is designed and or decorated sets the tone for how we feel and celebrate in that space.
Adventure seeking: Most people look at me and never think that I have been cave exploring thousands of feet underground, skydiving or swimming with sharks. I have a passion for exploring all the elements in nature and do not fear those experiences.