Degrees and Certifications:
Welcome to Room 309!
I am excited to meet our new students and welcome returning students to Third Grade at Meridian Park!
At Meridian Park, our highly capable magnet program is designed to challenge and stretch your child academically and socially. Students work cooperatively throughout much of the day. Students discuss and evaluate different strategies to solve problems together. These conversations are an important part of our program and enrich not only our math and literacy curriculum but are part of our classroom culture. We are not just working one year above in math and literacy or at a faster pace. Our program provides an opportunity for students to master concepts quickly and then dive deeper into subjects. We have the luxury of spending an afternoon discussing the deeper aspects of concepts, like whether or not a caterpillar is an insect. (Is it? I thought insects had 6 legs and an exoskeleton.) We routinely connect art, social studies and science to our math and literacy curriculum. We might spend a few days creating a new animal, researching and building appropriate habitats for our animal and writing origin stories. These experiences are unique to our program.
Is this educational experience the same as what will be provided at my child's homeschool if they opt out of the highly capable magnet program? No. There is no way to replicate the culture of a classroom that is designed to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of highly capable students. Working in a general education classroom, even with opportunities for enrichment, will not be the same learning experience. The peer to peer conversations, the pace and rigor will be different.
Students in our program are encouraged to grow socially and emotionally. We work on social AND academic skills and learn to navigate the tricky world of people together. It is OK to make mistakes. We provide our students with a safe learning environment to explore, grow and take risks. We fail sometimes and that's just fine. We praise hard work and effort to cultivate a positive growth mindset. Mistakes are proof that you are trying! We are still working on getting our social and emotional groove back!
In the highly capable program, most teachers go beyond the curriculum to provide additional learning experiences for students in most subject areas throughout the day. We adapt to our students' passions and interests and create learning opportunities that challenge and inspire. We have so much fun together.
If you have additional questions about our program, our expectations or changes to the highly capable program, including what to expect if you stay at your homeschool, or change your mind and want to join the fun here at MP, please feel free to email me. I have taught both highly capable and general education classes and can discuss the differences with you and the best fit for your child.
A little about me:
This is my 20th year of teaching and my 17th year teaching highly capable students. I grew up in Richland, WA, graduated from University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) and SPU. I am married to a Shorewood Alum and have two children. My son graduated from Shorewood and is a sophomore at University of Washington. My daughter is a junior at Shorewood, plays tennis, is a cheerleader, and a dancer. I can be found running and sometimes walking my very rotund bulldog named Humphrey in Richmond Beach. I can also be found in the stands and in the audience cheering on SW Stormrays and the Huskies!
As a parent, I understand the anxiety we are still feeling. We want what is best for our children. There is still some risidual trauma around our collective Covid experience, the loss of normalcy and school experiences. Know that the fall will continue to be an adjustment for us all. We will work through it together. I am confident I can provide a challenging, positive 3rd grade experience for your student.
I can't wait to be back together in room 309 this fall with my students, our families and teacher friends. If you are a student who is joining us, I can't wait to meet you! If you are a returning student- welcome back! See you all soon!