Position: Elementary Instructional Coach
Schools: Jefferson Elementary & Littlejohn Elementary, DeKalb
Number of years teaching: 16
Farm Bureau/Ag Literacy connection: I previously worked with Ag in the Classroom as a classroom teacher. Currently I work closely with the Farm Bureau, DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation, DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association, and the DeKalb County History Center to bring ag history alive for all 3rd graders in the DeKalb School District by hosting a 3rd Grade History Expo event each spring at the Farm Bureau.
What is your favorite unit to teach? I really enjoy any activities that students can relate to and get their hands on. Our DeKalb History Unit is one of a kind because of barbed wire, DeKalb Ag and winged ear logo, NIU, the Marsh Harvester and much more! Learning this history helps all students understand why we are called the DeKalb Barbs!
What is something unique that you do in your schools? I collaborate closely with the DeKalb County Community Gardens and we are able to do lessons for classes in our gardens each year. Not all schools have gardens where kids go to learn, work, and explore so we feel honored to have these experiences.
Why is it important for students to learn about food and farming? Everything we use on a daily basis connects back to farming at some point. It is important for kids to make this connection so they understand the importance of preserving it.
Share one memorable teaching story: My first year of teaching I told my class of 1st graders a rule and said it was like a “cardinal rule” for our classroom. I had a little boy raise his hand as serious as could be and told me he couldn’t follow cardinal rules because he was a Cubs fan!
Family: Husband, Dan, and children, Parker and Olivia
College/Degree(s): Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Aurora University, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University
What did you want to be when you grew up? In my childhood journal I wrote about wanting to be a ballet teacher when I grew up!
Quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Maya Angelou
Hobbies: Running, camping, playing with my kids
Book: “What Do You Do With an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada
Sports teams: Iowa Hawkeyes & Chicago Cubs
TV Show: “The Voice”
Travel Destinations: Anywhere warm in the winter