Teaching History: I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and have been teaching Special Education in CPS for 8 years and working with students with special needs since I was a young child. This is my fifth year at Jahn. I've taught in the blended preschool program for 3 years. I am absolutely thrilled to be continuing our Kindergarten journey for a second year with Ms. Ivette.
Education: I graduated from Elmhurst College with a Bachelors of Arts is Early Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Literacy. I also received my Learning Behavior Specialist certification and Masters of Science in Special Education from Dominican University.
Personal: I was born and raised in Lyons, Illinois, a small suburb just outside of the city. I come from a big Irish family who are avid Blackhawks, Cubs and Bears fans. Teaching is my life. My passion and drive has always been caring for and educating young children with and without disabilities.
Jahn: Ms. Ivette and I joined forces in December of 2014 and have developed strong philosophies and methods of teaching in an inclusive setting. We have had tremendous success thinking "outside of the box". In our classroom, your child will be safe, know they are loved, learn, grow, and exceed all expectations, and most of all, have fun learning!
In our classroom: In our room, you will find the use of natural lighting (no fluorescent lights used), a sensory room, flexible seating, true play, strong social emotional support and behavior management, daily yoga, frequent opportunities for movement, students learning at ALL levels, and solid academic instruction and support. As a team, with different backgrounds, areas of expertise, and experience, we are working together to make sure EVERY child is learning in a way that is best for him/her, building on strengths, making improvements to areas of need, and providing exposure to all different modalities and styles of learning, and encouraging self discovery.
Benefits of co-teaching and inclusive settings:
- Students receive more individual attention, more interaction with teachers, and a smaller teacher/student ratio.
- Research has shown that students without disabilities who participated in a co-taught classroom (such as our classroom) had improved academic performance, increased time and attention from teachers, increased emphasis on cognitive strategies and study skills, increase emphasis on social skills, and improved classroom communities.
- Studies have shown students with disabilities who were in an inclusive setting had a more positive attitude, were provided with role models for behavior and learning, interacted more with peers without disabilities, and were exposed to higher level concepts and discussions.
- Behavioral and academic expectations remain high for students with and without disabilities.
- Being in a blended environment teaches empathy, tolerance, and acceptance of ALL individuals with different abilities.
- Increased student engagement and increased use of strategies by students.
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem, and stronger peer relations.
- 2 heads are always better than 1! All of our students, whether or not they have special needs, learn in different ways. Even as adults, we know we learn and take in information differently than some of our peers.
Cheers to another successful, fun, and happy new school year!