At my recent 20 year High School Reunion, my friends chuckled as they read my "Peek into the Future" prediction, written in 1996: First Grade teacher, married, two kids and a German Shepherd.
Truth is, the only missing piece is the dog. We opted to go the cat route, mostly because we knew our kids would drop the ball on pet care!
All jokes aside, I am blessed to be living the life I mapped out for myself all those years ago. I am proud to be a wife and a mother to two wonderful children. Our family life is very fulfilling, but I enjoy each school day in my classroom, as well. Every day is a new adventure with my curious, adventurous and energetic first and second graders. I've been in the same small, private, independent school, Cornerstone Academy, for my entire career. So many educational trends have come and gone during that time, but I'm lucky to work at a school where we truly focus on what each student needs to succeed. Recently, I learned about the benefits of Buncee in the classroom. My class has embraced this new technology and it has opened the door to many new opportunities for us to create projects, invitations, virtual field trips and more. In my very rare, precious, free time, I love to be home with a new book. Our family loves to ski and hike, take day trips to the beach and travel together during our vacations. Life is good...I'm pleased I trusted my instincts back in high school and worked toward achieving my dream!
Not an "official" motto but I like to remind the children that mistakes are an important part of the learning process. When we make mistakes, we work harder and our brains grow a little more. This makes mistakes less scary and my students are more willing to take risks and "grow" with me!
WHAT IS THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR EDUCATION CAREER?
This is a difficult question! I try to find a success in simple moments each day. It is thrilling when little eyes light up as I read an exciting story or when my class was bursting to get on the Chromebooks when I was teaching the class how to make their own Buncees! However, there is a particular story that stands out.
During my first year of teaching, I had a group of nine second grade girls. I had been completely obsessed with "Little House on the Prairie" as a child, so I asked my director if I could do a "Pioneer" Unit with my class. At our school, we are extremely flexible with our curriculum and try to follow the interests of the children. She encouraged me to move forward with it because she could sense my enthusiasm. We built covered wagons. We created an Oregon Trail on the playground and we wrote journals. Additionally, we read the "Little House" books. As a way to explore the food of the time period, we made butter, we baked biscuits and maple cakes. We fully immersed ourselves in the unit. (Which has become a natural part of myteaching, now.) I knew the students loved it then and I felt good about the unit I had created.
However, what I didn't know then was that I had planted seeds for the future. Recently, a student from that class graduated from Mount Holyoke College. She wrote an alumni update for us and happily proclaimed that after studying business at Mt. Holyoke, she had decided to return to India and start her own business. What kind of business? A cupcake company...because she learned how much she loved baking during the Pioneer Unit in the Second Grade. Wow! Yes, that was a proud moment!
WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A BUNCEE AMBASSADOR?
Buncee helped put the spark back into teaching for me. Technology is such an integral part of education and it is sometimes hard to find the right fit for my young students. I knew immediately, after being introduced to Buncee during online Professional Development, that this was the tool I had been searching for. Quite frankly, I am excited to use Buncee and I want to share what I have created with others. I am also VERY proud of the work my students have accomplished and I want to brag about them to the world! I love brainstorming with other educators and sharing new ideas. I also deeply appreciate the creative outlet Buncee has helped me realize. I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Buncee. Everyone at Buncee has been so eager to help. I feel energized by the enthusiasm and creativity I see there.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BUNCEES?
To teach the students how to make a Buncee, I created this:
Here is our completed class version:
Virtual Field Trip ("Mystery at the Eiffel Tower" by Carol Marsh):
Example of student Famous Artist Buncee: