Proud Michigan Educator

Why do I teach, you ask?  I teach, because it is a highly rewarding and fulfilling profession. Teachers have one of the most important, meaningful, and purpose-driven jobs of anyone today. We share valuable information and important skills to encourage a love of learning that will serve students the rest of their lives. I do this work because I am committed to having a positive impact on the future of each student that I serve.

I wake up each morning and serve students at Iroquois Middle School. Being a role model and teaching students the skills and knowledge they need beyond the classroom is extremely inspiring and rewarding. No two days in teaching are ever the same. 
For me, now a teacher myself, my motivation has always come from students in my classroom. I know that it is essential to make lesson plans interesting in order to get all students motivated about learning. I emphasize the collaborative and cooperative nature of scientific work. I do my best to creatively facilitate the…

Dispatch: New Zealand

Through an Oakland University study abroad program, I taught 4th and 5th grade at Sunnyvale Primary School in New Zealand. These are reflections and memories from my experiences. My experience was professionally and personally rewarding: I learned new teaching strategies, developed my listening skills and adapted my lifestyle to live and work in a new environment.As a result, I have become a more confident, well-rounded and self-reflective educator. 

I was challenged to teach all subjects, including swimming, fitness, art, sport and music. I had to listen carefully to different accents. Many words we use in the United States have different meanings or do not exist in New Zealand’s vocabulary.

For example, if I asked a student to place a “period” at the end of a sentence, they had no idea what I was talking about. In New Zealand, a period is called a “full stop.” If I asked a student to pull out an eraser, they would call it a “rubber.” Soccer is a word unique to New Zealand an…

Holiday Breakfast Recipe for Pecan Apple Pancakes

This holiday breakfast recipe for pecan apple pancakes makes six servings (18 pancakes total). Prep time is 15 minutes and the batch should be cooked for 10 minutes total.

INGREDIENTS• 2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves • 2 eggs • 1-3/4 cups buttermilk • 3 tablespoons canola oil • 1-3/4 cups shredded peeled apples • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
DIRECTIONS • In a large bowl, mix the first nine ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
• Lightly grease a griddle; heat over medium-low heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful’s onto griddle. Cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown.
• Turn; cook until second side is golden.
Published in the Oakland Press. Click here.

The Toxic Environment of Standardized Testing

High-quality tests that accurately assess student learning and help teachers understand how to improve instruction are an essential part of an excellent education. But in some states and districts today, large-scale standardized testing has gotten out of hand, with students taking as many as 20 standardized tests per year. This was the situation in Michigan not too long ago. Teachers, parents, and students felt powerless when it came to government-mandated standardized tests such as the Michigan Student Test for Educational Progress (M-STEP). It was difficult for us to understand if the amount of time spent on standardized testing was actually beneficial to students. Hours were taken away from teaching and learning time last school year in order to administer the M-STEP. This was a problem. Many teachers thought standardized tests were an unreliable and inaccurate measure of student growth. Educators argued standardized tests should not be on the cutting edge of education because it prom…

Strategies for Blending and Flipping the Classroom

Technology can help teachers “Ignite Learning” in the classroom by promoting literacy development and critical thinking. The ability to communicate and create is what sparks learning.“Kids these days” are just wired to operate in a digital environment, which enables them to take control of their education. This technology captivates students and makes them desire to learn more about the content. 

Elite and innovative educators are “Blending and Flipping the Classroom” in order to meet the diverse needs of students. The numerous FREE online resources available can create a classroom that extends beyond normal school hours and walls.  

This provides students with more flexible opportunities for peer interaction, learning the content, and developing technology skills. “Blending and Flipping the Classroom” and in-person environments are really the best of both worlds because students receive the benefit of face-to-face interaction with more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. 


Who Stands for Detroit Teachers, Students, and Parents?

I stand with Detroit teachers, students, and parents because they want their voices heard! They are demanding solutions and reform to plaguing issues that attack the human and civil rights to a public education. They are protesting by staging citywide “sickouts” for safe working and learning environments because the policy makers in Lansing were not listening, taking action, or giving them the attention they deserve.   

Mushrooms growing out of walls, leaky roofs, rat feces, standing water, crumbling stairwells, black mold, three-inch-long cockroaches, and kids have to wear coats just to stay warm in overcrowded classrooms with little or no heat. According to Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan, these schools are literally falling apart. We may find better facilities and learning environments in third world countries.
These miserable conditions are unacceptable and disgusting. Who should be held accountable for these issues, which are the cause for these “sickouts”? Financial deficits created …

JCMU Adds Valued Program to Portfolio

EAST LANSING, MI – JCMU’s administration is excited to announce that the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) will be organizing the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange program. The staff looks forward to utilizing its skills and resources to steward this esteemed international program. The Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program began in 1990 to promote international relationships between American and Japanese high school students. For two weeks during the summer, 15 American students have the opportunity to travel to Japan and live with a host family in Shiga prefecture.

There, the participants meet with a Japanese student partner, experience Japanese high school classes, and participate in unique cultural events within the surrounding community and their host family. The program also coincides with a Japanese high school student cultural festival called a bunkasai, in which the Japanese students organize activities involving sports, dances, games, and music.

In Septemb…