Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

I am linking up over at Blog Hoppin' for Meet the Teacher Monday.  Join in and meet other teachers!

Tell us something about yourself:

My name is Sherrie and I teach 7th grade math.  I have been married to my husband Greg for 14 years and we have three boys, Ben 7th grade, Drew 4th grade, and Cooper K.  I love to watch my boys play sports and we had a busy baseball filled summer.  All three are playing football this fall so the busyness will continue.  They all take swim lessons in the summer and the older two did very well in their golf leagues this summer.  My favorite color is pink and I love pretty things.  

I grew up with three brothers (I was destined to be surrounded by boys) and wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in third grade.  I love Starbucks and drink pumpkin spice lattes or peppermint mochas when the weather is cold, and when it's warm out I drink unsweetened passion iced tea lemonade or mocha light frappucinos.  I drink iced tea year round and it has to be UNSWEETENED, I know you southern girls may be cringing at the thought, the same way I cringe whenever I mistakenly am brought a sweetened iced tea by mistake.  :)

How long have you been teaching?

I started teaching back in 1990.  I was a December graduate and I did a long term subbing in 7th/8th grade Spanish for six weeks during the Spring semester. The next fall I taught 6th grade and did that for seven years.  I then taught 7th grade SS for two years and have been teaching 7th grade math ever since returning from maternity leave when my oldest son was born.  When I got moved to math right after having a new born and after spending HOURS AND HOURS revamping the SS curriculum  I remember telling my principal, "You better let me retire in 7th grade math if I want to."  I am on my second new principal and fourth new AP since then and I am still teaching math.  :)

You might not know:

I am an Elementary Education/Spanish double major.  During my sophomore year I studied in Valladolid, Spain.  In college I was president of both the Eled Club and the Spanish club.  I never student taught because I had an internship.  I started teaching the first day with my own class of 12 6th grade students.  The principal was my cooperating teacher and he would come in to teach Math and Science in the afternoon for the first few weeks of school.  I was the only 6th grade teacher in my building so I was really on my own.  It was completely overwhelming and I remember thinking to myself before the first day that I had absolutely no idea what I should be doing and wondering at what point would I feel like I knew what to do.  Back in those days there were no goals and standards and the curriculum guides just listed the chapters of the text.  So I did what any eager, but clueless college kid would do, I started at the beginning of the texts.  That experience was AH-MAZING and once I was an official first year teacher the other veteran teachers could not believe it was my first year.  I told them that's because my first year experience really happened when I interned.  I even had to do PT conferences all by myself.  Scary!

What are you looking most forward to this year?

 I'm really looking forward to implementing my math learning stations.    I am also the middle school math liaison and we are in the process of a huge K-12 math review.  I look forward to being an integral part of making that successful.  I am excited to work with our team's new SS and LA teacher and also my new AP.  I also can't wait to see my finished classroom with my new color scheme.

What do you need to improve?

I have never done math stations and there is almost nothing out there for middle school as far as resources go.  Now if I was a primary teacher I would be set!  I wish Debbi Diller would write a book for middle school.  My goal is to differentiate more for ALL my kids from intervention to enrichment.  I want to really grasp and weave the standards for mathematical practice into my classroom.  I am looking forward to implementing some new instructional strategies that I am hoping with increase achievement for all my students.  I also need to do a better job this year of keeping my binders and materials organized after completing a module.  Last year I was teaching a new class and our prep time got shortened so that left me overwhelmed.  As we move into the CCSS I will need to revamp what I teach.  I also want to incorporate more literacy activities in my classroom.

What teaching supplies can you not live without?

My number one tool that I just could not live without is my SMARTBoard.  I wrote and was awarded a grant for it three years ago.  I love my pilot G2 pens like nobody's business.  I also love my Lilly Pulitzer stationery and coffee mugs.  I am a bit Type A with some things like organization and I could not love without all my desktop organizers.  I also could not live without my teacher binders.  When I am in a meeting with my Lilly notebook someone almost always makes a comment on how much they love my notebook.  On days where I am bit tired I survive with my Starbucks mocha or my TJ's chocolate covered espresso beans.

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