I obtained my B.S. in Secondary Education (Mathematics Option) with Honors in Curriculum and Instruction from the Pennsylvania State University, and my M.S. in Education (Classroom Technology) from Wilkes University. I spent my first 14 years of teaching in the Fleetwood Area School District where I taught all levels of mathematics, from Algebra I through AP Calculus. My husband's job required us to move to Ohio, where I was employed at the Linden McKinley STEM Academy in the Columbus City School District for 2.5 years until we moved back to PA. I finished off the school year as a maternity substitute in the Upper Merion School District, and then I was welcomed into the Great Valley family at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. During my tenure at GVHS, I have taught Algebra 1 & 2, Algebra 1 & 2 Support Courses, Geometry, Accelerated Algebra 2, Precalculus, and Honors Precalculus. I enjoy teaching different subjects, and that experience helps me address student questions about mathematical concepts (even the common, "When will we ever need this?" query).
My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and our son, Christopher, is 14 years old and entering high school this year. Our two dogs, Finn (puggle) and Dusty (terrier mix) complete our family.
The Best Advice I can give to my students: This is my 25th year of teaching high school mathematics; I've incorporated effective new strategies and technology into my instruction in order to help my students learn to the best of their ability. HOWEVER, I have found that no matter the academic level or content of the class, students who are successful do the following:
1. COMPLETE your assignments - Try ALL of the problems!!! Check provided answers to make sure that you are solving them correctly (it is NOT cheating if you try to solve the problem first!). Even if you cannot finish a problem, you know where you got stuck, so you can ask questions the next day. Understanding appropriate symbols and notation is as important in math as grammer/spelling is in the language arts. Practice is crucial for mathematical understanding (same as when playing a sport, musical instrument, or a video game).
2. LISTEN to your teacher - if I tell you to write something down, or make a recommendation concerning a problem-solving process, it is because 9 times out of 10, that information will help you. If it does not, then I will work with you to find a process or explanation that will make sense to you. BUT - please try to take advantage of my years of experience to help you learn.
3. ASK questions as soon as you don't understand (become a self-advocate) - Trust me, at least 3 other students in the class will be glad that you asked that question. If you choose not to ask questions during class, then ask before you leave class, come see me for extra help (before or after school), ask for a pass to the Math Help Center, or ask a friend who understands the concept. It will also reinforce your friend's learning if they can explain the concept to you.
4. PARTICIPATE in class - active participation helps your brain move the information from short-term to long-term memory. What makes sense one day may not make sense a week later if you just sit and listen without contributing to the discussion. I try to pace the material based upon student feedback and demonstration of understanding. (I may also call on students who never raise their hand to make sure that they understand the material...)
Let's CLAP for success this year!!!! (I'm not normally a huge fan of acronyms, but this was too good to pass up!)