Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chippewa Valley Schools Strategic Planning Community Forum

Saturday, January 24, 2015: 9:00 - 11:00 AM
Chippewa Valley High School Auditorium
18300 Nineteen Mile Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038

Mark your calendars! You’re invited to learn about future trends in education. Provide us with valuable input into our strategic planning process that will help us determine the future of 
Chippewa Valley Schools. 

Chippewa Valley Schools will embark on a comprehensive strategic planning process to determine our core beliefs and goals that will guide our decision making for the next three-to-five years. The purpose of this strategic plan is to help us better define our mission, our vision, and where we want to be in the future.

The process will be inclusive, seeking input from all major stakeholders, including parents, school staff, administrators, students, community members, and local business leaders.

Join us for our initial community kick-off as keynote speaker, 
Dr. C. Robert Maxfield, Interim Dean, School of Education and Human Services, Oakland University, talks about the future of education. Afterwards you will have an opportunity to share valuable information and feedback with us. We look forward to your participation!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program

The Michigan Department of Education and the Shiga Board of Education initiated the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program in 1990. The program was originally operated out of the Michigan Department of Education, then Clinton County RESA and the Office of Gifted and Talented Education at Michigan State University, and since 2014, the Michigan Shiga Sister State Board along with their new co-sponsor, Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University, has operated it.

Each year the program offers 15 high school students an opportunity to travel to Shiga Prefecture in late June/early July to live with a Japanese family for two weeks. During their home stay the Michigan students attend school, participate in cultural and family events, increase their awareness of the Japanese culture and build lifelong relationships.

In early September, the Michigan students welcome their Japanese host students to Michigan. During their two weeks in Michigan, the Japanese students also attend school and participate in school and family activities while experiencing the culture here and extending the bonds between the two families. 

Two English Language instructors accompany the Japanese students. The Michigan students are chaperoned by two experienced teachers who are members of the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program Committee.

For more information, click here

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Family + Food + Football = Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my family, friends, and colleagues. I am thankful for opportunities to meet new people, travel, and explore ideas. 

I am thankful for the ability to keep in touch with my past including the many people who have had an impact on my life. I am thankful for the students who inspire me on a daily basis.

My most memorable Thanksgiving was at my Grandpa and Grandma's house. We spent quality time together going on a walk, playing cards and board games, and watching the Detroit Lions. 

Another memorable Thanksgiving was going to downtown Detroit to run in the 10K Turkey Trot and watch the parade.

Thanksgiving is more than a wonderful meal with turkey, potatoes, and stuffing. It is about the people and relationships that have been nurtured throughout the years. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Reason for Living in Rochester Hills

Great scenery! The nature surrounding Rochester Hills is astonishing. The Paint Creek and Clinton River Trails are excellent for running, walking, and biking. 

The small shops, businesses, and restaurants in Downtown Rochester and the Village of Rochester Hills are unique. We enjoy the holiday lights, farmers market, and the festivals. 

Oakland University is an amazing resource for the Rochester Hills community. Basketball games, academic lectures, and alumni events are always fun to attend. 

The local entertainment includes comedians, musicians, and singers. We are fortunate to have this impressive talent in our community.  

Rochester Hills is a passionate and inspiring place to live, work, and raise a family. Rochester Hills is number one in Michigan and number nine in America as ranked by Money Magazine's 2014 "Top Ten Places to Live in America". 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why I Teach

The education field is not always what I envisioned when I was in college. However, I am still motivated to get up each morning and serve students in our nation's schools. Being a role model and teaching students the skills they need beyond the classroom is extremely inspiring. It is an excellent time to be a teacher. You have to love what you do in order to be successful. This gives us courage to meet our goals. Today's teachers need perseverance, passion, and hope. I pray that my teaching has a positive influence on my students and school.

There were many educators that had a positive influence on my life. My health teacher, Tom Davis, encouraged me to explore my curiosities, supported me with my struggles, and celebrated my successes. He cared about me, my learning, my life, and he wanted me to find happiness within myself in order for me to be capable of helping others. He inspired me and pushed me to be my best in the classroom and on the athletic fields. I am now trying to pay this positive influence forward to my students. 

There were definitely challenges I faced in my early years of teaching, such as how to do project-based learning, facilitate classroom discussions, and use technology effectively. A strong teaching internship experience and great mentoring programs have helped me become a successful teacher. Forging ahead on my own determination when the going got tough was essential. The wisdom that I gained with setting up classroom procedures and managing class time would benefit a newer teacher. 

Educators entering the profession need to deal with the challenges and successes of teaching through developing a positive mentor-mentee relationship. These types of relationships are necessary to help retain our top teachers and support new teachers as they come into the profession. Better professional development is also the answer and can be achieved with extensive, easily accessible support. There is something inherent about the teaching profession that is driving teacher's away, and the nature of internships, or lack thereof, in teacher education programs impacts retention. We must reclaim the agenda.
The Five Top Lessons I Have Learned in My Position in Public Education
1. Be persistent. Never give up on students, parents, and colleagues. Everyone is in this together, and it truly takes a village to educate a child properly.
2. Be open-minded. Listen to other people and their opinions. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. Communication is essential. 
3. Think positive. There is a lot of negativity out in the world, especially within the field of education. You need to have a positive outlook in order to combat all of the negativity.
4. Try different roles until you find your niche. Spend time with different people and in various extracurricular activities. Use your hobbies and passions as a guide.
5. Always want to learn. Whether it is a new technology or a new teaching strategy, teachers are life-long learners. We need to be learning alongside our students and show how passionate we are in seeking knowledge.
For me, the motivation to teach has always come from the students in my classroom. It is essential to make lesson plans interesting in order to get students motivated about learning. There needs to be interaction between students. Moving around the room as I teach, keeping a smile, and being expressive has made a difference in my instruction. Students need constant positive feedback in order to inspire them to strive for success. I want to inspire my students to fight poverty, choose kindness, act on climate change, and make history.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Homework and Practice Reflection

The purpose of homework is to give opportunities for understanding concepts. This reinforces what students are learning in the classroom. 

The type of meaningful practice that is assigned to students includes reading informational text and answering questions. Homework can be effective if it gives students a resource to reference and involves real life application. 

Besides the level of discussion, teachers know if the practice has been effective by formative and common assessment scores. Teachers can ensure that homework clearly aligns with the learning objectives by referencing Grade Level Content Expectations. 

It is essential for teachers to complete the assignments themselves before distributing them to students. It is beneficial to provide corrective and timely feedback on all homework assignments by group checking. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stand Up For Public Education and Support Our Local Schools

According to the Michigan Education Association - Political Action Committee (MEA-PAC), public education is under attack due to evaluation, privatization, right-to-work, cyber and charter schools. To rebuild Michigan’s middle class, we must rebuild our public schools. 

Instead, politicians in Lansing have slashed more than $1 billion from our children’s classrooms to pay for a $1.8-billion tax break for big corporations, including those that outsource our jobs. Macomb county public school students have lost $211,239,168 in the last four years. Meanwhile, there has been an expansion in for-profit charter and cyber schools without ensuring accountability.

By gutting our schools and taking resources away from our children, politicians are making it harder for our kids to compete for 21st century jobs. These unfair cuts lead to things like more crowded classrooms, dwindling supplies, less programs, and fewer employees, which makes learning more difficult.

Lansing politicians have the wrong priorities. They should do the right thing and return the money they took from our kids. Politicians must be held accountable for this reckless decision. Michigan must stand up for kids, not CEOS. 

We must vote for politicians who fight for kids and public schools. We need quality public schools and an economy that works for everyone. We must be committed to making public education a top priority.