Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ashford Introduction Discussion Board Post

For my first Ashford University course, I just wrote an introduction of myself.  What do you think, kids?
When I was little, I used to run around pretending to be Miss Hannigan from Annie.  Now, I run around trying to create more Michael Oehrs and less Oliver Twists.  I teach Precious and A Child Called "It."

I teach English 9 and 10 at San Pasqual Academy, a residential school for foster youth in Escondido, California.  Most of my students have been placed in the foster care system as a result of abandonment, neglect, or abuse.  Many of their biological parents are incarcerated, deported, addicted to drugs, mentally disabled, or deceased.  Statistically, my students should not succeed.  But,my school was created to give them a stable home and quality education, so they can break the cycle they were born into.  In fact,if you blindly walked into my classroom, you would never know that most of them have lived through things the rest of us can hardly handle seeing in rated-R movies.  However, you would notice that they sometimes call themselves my "technology guinea pigs."

I have recently become a little obsessed with building as much technology as I can into my lessons.  Luckily, I work for San Diego County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools.  (In a nutshell, we take all of the kids most school districts have exhausted their resources with: our kids are expelled, incarcerated, on probation, homeless, in the foster system, addicted, and even just teen moms.)  My district prides itself in filling classrooms with technology and training teachers in how to use it.  I am currently a member of the Technology Committee and Cyber Safety Pilot Program.  A few months ago, I was fortunate to attend a Computer Using Educators conference.  Since, then my classroom has become so technology entwined that I could go completely paperless.  I am very eager to begin my masters program as a way to continue this growth. 

Okay, enough about work!  When I'm not playing online, I enjoy attending Chargers games and country concerts or just spending time with my two dogs and friends.  I actually just retired from working at a Girl Scout summer camp for the past twelve years, so I am looking forward to many dog beach visits over the next few months. 

I also spend quite a bit of time with my family.  I was raised on a dirt road in Lake Morena, California, where my parents still live.  My dad is a woodshop teacher and my mom is a preschool teacher.  I have a younger brother who installs fire-safety sprinklers, a younger brother in the Coast Guard, and a younger sister who is also in the Coast Guard.  We all attended the high school where my dad still works, and I even taught and coached there for four years after college. 

So, college brings me back to now.  Today is my first day back to school since I graduated from Mount St. Mary's College, a women's college in Los Angeles, eight years ago.  At MSMC, I earned my teaching credential simultaneously with my bachelors--I even student taught while still living in the dorms!  So, it's been awhile, but I figure I can handle doing a little homework after years of just creating and grading my students'.  I am sincerely excited to be here.  

Well, that was wordy.  Oh!  I almost forgot to mention that I look an-awful-lot like Miss G from Freedom Writers.

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