I have been teaching in international schools around the world since 2000 with my husband, Alex, a humanities, ESL and English teacher.
This international adventure began with my first trip abroad in 1997, as part of a study abroad program in Florence, Italy. That semester in Italy was enough to convince me that I was born to travel! Upon my return to the University of Connecticut for my final 2 years of undergraduate study, I began to research ways to live abroad and in the process, discovered teaching. I began as an ESL instructor for international teaching assistants and mentor for international exchange students at UConn. This taste of education prompted me to look for ways to teach abroad, and thus, I discovered the world of international schools.
My first international school posting was at Munich International School in Germany, where I stayed for 5 years. During those five years in Germany, I was trained as an MYP technology teacher and was approved as an MYP Trainer. I developed and implemented the integrated technology program at MIS, as well as infusing the curriculum with multimedia tools like digital video, website authoring and media rich presentations. I also had the opportunity to present my work at MIS at several conferences, including the Association of German International Schools in Hannover in January 2005, and the MYP Advanced Teachers Conference at the International School of Amsterdam in March 2005.
After five years in Germany, I was ready for another adventure, and so began my career at Mont’Kiara International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Again, I developed an implemented the integrated technology program at M’KIS, infusing the curriculum with even more multimedia tools, as well as new web 2.0 tools like blogging, wikis, and podcasts.
During my two years at M’KIS, I continued my professional development by joining the SUNY Buffalo Educational Leadership cohort at the International School of Kuala Lumpur. The course includes exciting workshops ranging from Assessment in International Schools with Bambi Betts, to Integrating Differentiation and Understanding by Design with Jay McTighe, and Cognitive Coaching with Bill and Ochan Powell. Engaging in this coursework helped me realize how much I enjoy curriculum development and design that focuses on project-based learning that naturally embeds the authentic use of technology tools as appropriate for our 21st century learning environment.
Next, I spent three years as the 21st Century Literacy Specialist, and then Middle School Technology and Learning Coordinator at the International School Bangkok in Thailand. My role at ISB combined my past experiences as a technology facilitator with the wealth of resources available in the library. In collaborating with the librarians and the educational technology department, my focus was to blend the traditional role of a library with the requirements of the 21st century global student. At ISB (as in Malaysia), my work focused on helping core subject teachers utilize web 2.0 technologies in the classroom, to create a global and collaborative approach to learning.
Currently, I am the Technology and Learning Coach at Yokohama International School in Japan. Working with all three divisions (ES, MS, HS) here allows me to bridge the gap between curriculum models (PYP, MYP and DP) as well as develop a consistent approach to technology integration. Beyond working with teachers and students in the classroom, I offer a variety of professional development options for both teachers and parents, as well as collaborate with teachers throughout the school to implement a current and forward-thinking technology-rich environment. Working at YIS holds especially exciting opportunities for me, as I help coordinate our Connected Learning Community (1:1 program), our Digital Citizenship program, and our Technology and Learning Coaches team. As in all my previous schools, I enjoy working with my colleagues to design authentic and engaging international projects incorporating social networking, blogs, wikis, and podcasts, and whatever comes next!
Throughout my years as a teacher, I have always strived to consciously grow and develop as a learner. I enjoy reflecting on my professional experiences on my blog, Always Learning, as a way to practice what I teach. Outside of school, I enjoy cooking, yoga, jewelry making, reading, movies, and anything that has to do with technology.
I am an enthusiastic, passionate teacher, who truly loves working with children. My goal as a technology teacher is to teach students (teachers, parents and administrators too!) how to learn, and to ensure that every child that leaves my classroom feels comfortable, confident, and excited about the challenges and rewards that technology has to offer.