I am remarkably fortunate to be able to teach all the things that are dear to me at a wonderful school filled to the brim with students who are eager to learn. I am the seventh grade Humanities teacher, and in that role, I teach not only history but also literature and writing.
As a local San Diegan who grew up in Point Loma, I attended San Diego State University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and went on to graduate work in Literature. My love of history has not waned over the years (quite the contrary), and my teaching credential includes special authorizations in both art and English.
One thing that is notable about me is that I am a bit of a “packrat of the mind.” In other words, I tend to collect ideas for teaching wherever I may travel or during whatever seemingly incongruous activity in which I might be engaged. Many of these collectible moments find their way into the lessons I teach and in the coursework that I myself take. I also hold certification, for instance, in gifted education and am a Fellow/Teacher Consultant with the San Diego Area Writing Project.
I should mention that I teach a film elective on campus as well, which is reflective of yet another passion of mine: movies! I see film as a deeply important art form. Clearly, this passion wore off on both of my sons, who each majored in film production (this is what happens, I suppose, when you bring your kids to the movie theater from a young age to experience indie films and encourage the thought that there is nothing daunting about subtitles).
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, hiking, camping in the Sierras, and spending as much time as I possibly can out of doors and in nature.
It is this latter love (which actually infuses all the other loves of my life) that has helped to shape my philosophy about teaching. I want my students to take delight in the stories of history and to look closely, as a naturalist would, and appreciate the joy of language. One of my favorite academic authors on writing and reading summarized it best, I think, when he wrote:
“We can learn to pay attention, concentrate, devote ourselves to authors. We can slow down so we can hear the voice of texts, feel the movement of sentences, experience the pleasure of words—and own passages that speak to us.”
― Thomas Newkirk, author of the booksThe Art of Slow Reading and Minds Made for Stories