Friday after 5PM
Weekends at any time
EducationI received my B.A. in Elementary Education from Catawba College, ranked the #15 regional college by US News and World Report. I also earned my certification in Technology Education for grades 6-12 from North Carolina A&T State University.
ExperienceI have a degree and certifications that allow me to teach students in grades K-12. I have six years experience teaching high school, eight years experience in middle school, and I received my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I have taught students at all levels and been successful at each. Having this experience allows me to understand and teach students the skills necessary to do their best in all grades. I also teach a pre-engineering course, and one of my favorite things to do is connect learning to the real world experiences and careers that students are likely to encounter. When students know that the knowledge and skills learned in class can be relevant to their life, they are more likely to work hard at those skills.
Teaching engineering to middle school students is quite a challenge. Unlike high school engineering courses, my course is not focused as much on teaching particular skills so much as helping my students develop a way of thinking critically about the world around them. I teach my students a formal problem-solving method and then we apply that method to various challenges. Using this problem-solving technique, students begin to see that problems that might look impossible at the beginning can be viewed differently as problems to which they don’t have the answer… yet. Then the larger task is broken down into small and more manageable chunks that are far easier for them to tackle. This approach to learning can be applied to the rest of the students’ lives, allowing them a greater feeling of control of their own learning.
I also have a ten year old son in fourth grade. Helping him find ways to learn material in his particular learning style has been transformative for me, forcing me to learn how to communicate information to learners who think differently from the crowd.
Finally, I have been heavily influenced by the work of Carol Dweck and her work on the development of mindsets: “Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”
This research blows the top off the idea that being labeled as “gifted” determines whether or not a child (or adult) is “smart,” allowing for students to understand that they are not a finished product and can continue developing skills and knowledge for their entire lives. This research helps explain why two students can have drastically different reactions to the exact same event, say a failing grade on a quiz. A student with a fixed mindset views that F as more than a grade; it’s a statement that they themselves are a failure. They are less likely to study hard for the next test and assume that they simply cannot learn the material or are not good at the subject. A student with a growth mindset views that F as an opportunity to improve or impetus to work harder for the next test. Developing the growth mindset is a critical thing for young children.
HobbiesI love playing guitar, riding my bike, gardening, and hanging out with my wife and ten-year-old son.
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