Frequently Asked Questions

Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding instructional leader.

To be an outstanding and effective instructional leader, one must be passionate about instructional leadership, have a clear vision, and plan how to achieve the vision utilizing data and resources that are scientifically provided to support student achievement. To do this though, the leader must also understand the importance of and build community within the building, to empower teachers and cultivate leadership skills among staff. Doing this not only builds positive culture and creates buy in from staff, but the whole building is working together and are much more likely to make positive contributions to achieving the vision and plan. To build community, the instructional leader must create collaborative and inclusive learning environments for all, encourage risk taking, and lead by example by being a life long learner with perseverance. 

Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.

An outstanding educator focuses on student success by being engaging with students, has strong communication skills but listens more than talks, is adaptable and flexible to meet students needs, values real-world learning, and builds community through relationships and showing empathy. An outstanding teacher also models life long learning, risk taking, reflective practices for self improvement, and promotes a love for learning every day. Finally, an outstanding teacher knows that they are not alone and must engage in collaboration with students and colleagues to share best practices in order to continue to grow. 

What is the biggest challenge facing education today? Explain your answer.

There are many challenges facing education today, like poverty, health and safety of students, bullying, attendance, lack of funding, and more recently remote learning, covid, and the digital divide. Above all of these, I think one of the biggest challenges facing education today is technology in the classroom, critical thinking, and life or employability skills. I am an advocate for technology in the classroom, I believe teaching technology is imperative because technology will be used in just about every industry to some extent and students being technology literate is impactful for their futures. Technology use must be done with fidelity though and may not replace the teacher or lesson, it needs to be used to enhance the lesson and connect to student lives, not to be a distraction and a barrier. Additionally, with the readily available information due to technology, the focus in education needs to shift from memorization to analyzing and using critical thinking skills. I have seen students who know how to put a complex equation into a calculator to get the answer but struggle with reading a word problem and setting up simple math equations to solve it. Education needs to focus on critical thinking, problem solving, communication, creativity, leadership, and innovative use of technology in order to prepare for student success beyond the classroom and prepare for every day life. 

From your point of view, how important is technology in education? What technology-related skills can you contribute to a school district?

Technology in education is imperative, as long as it is used appropriately and to support instruction, not replace it. I believe it is important to teach how to use technology effectively as it will be an integral part of all students lives, regardless of what path they choose to take after school. If technology is not utilized to strengthen instruction and practices, we are hindering students to be prepared for their future. I have taught technology courses for the past three years, I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator and Microsoft certified as well as Adobe certified and feel equally as comfortable with google and apple products to create best practices and strengthened instruction in any educational setting. 

How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?

Historically, I often have had a wide range of skills and abilities in my classroom which require strategic planning of differentiation, instructing with multiple means of representation to meet all learning styles, providing student choice and voice when possible, integrating student reflection in order to track and take ownership of their own learning, intentional grouping, and student discourse and collaboration every lesson. By providing all of these interventions, I am able to monitor each students progress through individual interactions. Finally, I believe that encouraging community support stretches the classroom and learning beyond the classroom walls and strengthens learning for all students, regardless of skills and abilities. 

What unique qualities do you bring with you that will benefit this school? 

As a music teacher, I tend to have a unique approach to classroom teaching and school leadership. I have helped create multiple district curriculum, running many initiatives at once, and experience with innovative career pathway implementation and restricting. Additionally, I have advanced training and a masters degree in special education which helps me see a scenario form a different point of view and can support teachers in that area as well. 

Describe the classroom conditions that best facilitate student learning. Include strategies you would use to assure maximum learning for all students

I believe the best conditions that best facilitate student learning include student centered instruction, students knowing what is happening for the day for them to self monitor their learning, engaging practices, cooperative and collaborative learning, student discourse, many formative assessments, and self monitoring. My regular classroom routine starts with a class and relationship builder, going over the goals for the day, an opener to begin the learning, collaboration between students, teaching the lesson with many breaks for guided student discourse to retain what was learned, independent or collaborative work time, frequent monitoring and individual checks in, and an exit ticket with student reflection. By working bell to bell with quick transitions, students engaging with one another and as a class, and frequent checks for understanding, I am able to assure maximum learning for all students. 

In what ways are you qualified to address the issue of diversity as a part of your instructional program

The root of my philosophy is providing high quality, rigorous education for all students. This philosophy is what has dictated all of my actions as an educator, including continuing my education in special education and educational leadership, being a lead on restorative justice management initiatives, attending additional professional development on culturally responsive teaching and practices to support English language learners, and working with historically underserved populations. Working with historically underserved populations and seeing the issues of diversity all around me is why I continued into educational leadership, to provide equity and continue to work towards achieving my philosophy for all students. I continue to attend professional development on diversity, equity, social justice, and cultural education to ensure I am a life long learner and the best educator I can be for my students.