Phone: 781-934-7630 x3223
Degrees and Certifications:
Master of Education (2007) Lesley University; Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy (1997) Nazareth College of Rochester; Orton-Gillingham certification; Massachusetts Teacher of students with disabilities (Pre K-6 & 5-12); Massachusetts Teacher of students 1-6
Welcome to Learning Center 223 homepage
A few years ago at Alden School Mrs. Whitaker began to develop a professional culture was built around the professional book by Dave Burgess entitled Teach Like a Pirate. No, that does not mean that your children will be walking the plank if they are not good students at school. PIRATE is actually an acronym for Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask and Analyze, Transformation and Enthusisasm.
So I thought a good way to introduce myself to you would be to share with you my passions in teaching. There are three; content passion, professional passion and personal passion.
My content passion revolves around reading and writing. I LOVE children’s picture books, fairy tales, fables, tall tales, Dr. Seuss, poetry, you name it. In truth, I would rather read a children’s book than a novel. Why, you may ask? Often times children’s literature is written on multiple levels to engage both the intended audience and the adults who will be reading the books (sometimes over and over again)!! Artful illustrations can be analyzed to provide further insight into the text. I believe picture books are truly works of art. This leads to my second passion ~ writing. I have always enjoyed putting my thoughts on paper. I can be far more eloquent with the written word than I can through verbal expression. I enjoy the process of revision in writing, crafting words until they are close to perfection.
Does that mean that these are the only 2 subjects I teach children? Absolutely not!!! Therefore, when it is time to teach other subjects, I look to another area of passion. My professional passion is that all students, no matter their intellectual, physical or emotional ability, have the right to learn the same things as their ‘typical’ peers. Our system of education is often regulated by standardized testing which, is not a true representation of ability but a measure of inability. Helen Keller’s parents could have decided that she would never learn, and put her in an institution to live her remaining days. However, thanks to Annie Sullivan, Helen was able to experience life, learn meaningful communication, and teach the world. We will never know what our children are capable of until we give them the opportunities to learn about and explore the world around them. Of this I am confident and passionate!
The third passion, mentioned by Burgess in his book is personal passion. I am passionate about my children, Ben (14), Mollie Grace (11) and Andrew (9). They are the loves of my life and I am blessed to be their Momma. I am passionate that they have a more secure and happy childhood than the one I had. I am passionate about the arts; music, drama, movement, and visual arts. The arts are the stepping stones on which I have built my career. It is the arts that led me to special education.
Thank you for taking the time to read a bit about me. I look forward to working with your family this year and discovering the potential of each and every student in our class.