About Durham...
Position: Gifted 5th Grade
Room: 7-8-9
Phone: 480-812-6638
Email: Durham

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Welcome!

Since I started teaching gifted learners in 2013 I can't imagine not being a gifted teacher. There is something indescribable and special about a gifted classroom that makes me feel so lucky to be able to spend every day with your children. When I am not in the classroom I can be found chasing my wild and sweet toddler boys with my amazing husband! We love to be creative, artistic, curious, and makers in my home and go into each day excited to see where this adventure takes us.

My Education and Professional Background

I started my career as an interior designer in Chicago, Illinois when I was offered an amazing teaching position in Italy after a few years of working in the design field. That first teaching experience in Milan was for a kindergarten thru second grade combo classroom, and I also developed the art program for kindergarten thru sixth grade levels. That opportunity made me realize my passion for teaching, and when I traveled back home, I decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Elementary Education, as well as my gifted endorsement. I have had many experiences that shaped the teacher I am today. In total, I have worked with kindergarten thru sixth grade levels in suburban, foreign, and Native American school districts. From 2013-2020 I was a classroom teacher at Knox Gifted Academy and I am excited for this next chapter of my journey at WGA!

My Educational Philosophy

I believe in empowering students with the knowledge to become self-motivated, exemplary citizens, and lifelong learners through a student-centered active learning environment. It is our job to challenge students, allow choice, individualize instruction, and encourage passions. Higher achievement comes when students are intrinsically motivated and excited about learning. This learning happens through experimenting, experiencing, and creating meaning through reflections of their new knowledge. Schools are a place children want to bring their families and communities into to share their ideas and be proud of the problems they have solved with their peers. Just like my students I am also a lifelong learner; my teaching philosophy is always developing and changes through the experiences I have with students. I look forward to taking this journey with your children!
 

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