Hello! My name is Ms. Abby and I am SO excited to be a part of JAM Teaching. I recently moved to Chicago after teaching in New Orleans for two years with Teach For America!
I began my teaching career as a 4th grade Reading & Behavioral Interventionist. As a Reading Interventionist, I worked with students under the 5th percentile in reading (about a Kindergarten reading level) to get them up to speed with their peers. Even though all the students I worked with started the year at the same reading level, they all needed an individualized approach to reach their goals; working with each student and their families to find creative strategies to reach their goals was a huge part of this role, and I loved it! I believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to learning. In creating a plan, I designed for each of my students individually. 100% of them went from reading at the 5th percentile to reading at the 75th or above within a year!
As a Behavior Interventionist, I worked with students to navigate complex emotional and social situations. After all, learning is only possible when we feel safe, heard, and have strategies to help us with tough feelings. This included creating individualized behavioral plans for students with and without IEPS to reach goals set by administration, families, and teachers, as well as leading group SEL (Social Emotional Learning) classes for students to learn age-appropriate social and emotional skills.
After my time as an interventionist, I became a Lead 3rd and 4th-grade teacher, teaching ELA, Social Studies, and Math! I was the regional lead for 3rd grade Math, meaning I helped all schools in the region in developing curriculum, as well as training teachers in creative teaching strategies to ensure students with different learning styles had tools to access the curriculum in a fun and engaging way.
My entire teaching philosophy is based on three things: creativity, customization, and relationships. I am nothing if not a creative educator; I truly believe that when students struggle with a particular concept in the classroom, it’s often because they just need to learn it a different way - and that is where the joy of tutoring comes in! Whether it is using tactical objects like donut holes to understand multiplication, creating songs to remember how to format an essay, or making dances to remember the different steps of a mathematical equation, I have done it, I will do it again, and I am committed to finding creative solutions that work for each individual student.
Relationships are everything to me as an educator, both with parents and students. We learn from people we trust, and trust is built through authentic relationships! It is of the utmost importance to me that I know a scholar as a whole person, not just in terms of what they need academic support in. It is of equal importance that both students and parents know me, and feel confident they can come to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas!
I am beyond ecstatic to be a part of JAM Teaching and supporting families and students in reaching their individualized goals and have fun doing it!