About The Teachers
Liz Froemming If you come to my classroom, you will see that teaching begins the second the bell rings, and there is a design for what happens every minute until the bell rings at the end. In Language Arts 8, we value learning and building community, which happens when students are moving, talking, laughing, making choices, and engaging in materials. We work very hard to make sure that our curriculum is both engaging and challenging. When students leave my classroom, I want them to have read something that felt a little too hard, to have written something that they didn’t think they could do, and to have created something that they’re proud of.
This is my fifth year teaching 8th grade Language Arts and Journalism at Union, and prior to middle school, I spent twelve years teaching high schoolers and serving as a full-time mentor for high school teachers in their first five years of teaching. I love the enthusiasm and energy of middle school. I have a B.A. in English from University of Minnesota where I also did my graduate work. In our spare time, Lis Jorgens and I train teachers for the Santa Clara County of Education.
I couldn’t be an English teacher without loving reading. I love reading fiction, nonfiction, journal articles, newspaper, blogs. Here are some things that are on my mind based on some recent reads: gamification (including this one), on teaching argumentation (including this and this), meaningful classroom conversations (including this). Carol Dweck isn’t a recent read, but I greatly admire her work on mindset.
Please email me anytime, email@example.com
Lis Jorgens I guess what I want you to know about me is that I hate boredom. I hate it when students are bored, and I hate it when I am bored. So we work really, really hard to fill ELA8 with novelty, humor, celebrations, choice, and voice. We bring in music, film and video, gamification - all kinds of things to make students lean in, and we can do this because we use absolutely every second of instructional time. I want students talking, moving, and laughing, but I need them doing it while still on-task.
The ideas that are shaping my teaching right now are Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work on flow, Jane McGonigal’s work on gamification, and Andrea Lunsford and John Ruszkiewicz’s work with Everything’s an Argument. I’m also thinking a lot these days about authentic audience for student, and about how important visual literacy is (“reading” photographs, graphic novels, etc). Before coming to Union (5 years ago now), I taught high school and before that self-defense. I have a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in English from the University of Iowa. With Liz Froemming, I train middle school teachers for the Santa Clara County of Education, and I was the 2015 California League of Middle Schools Teacher of the Year for our school and then for our region.
Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natalie Smith One of my goals in the classroom is to reach every student every day. I strive to accomplish this primarily by engaging students with challenging content. I also do so by making them laugh, providing moments of nostalgia through music and video, motivating them and encouraging collaboration with elements of gamification, and getting them to move and talk and struggle to remember with various retrieval games and hands-on activities.
This is my seventh year teaching at UMS where I’ve been fortunate to work with Lis Jorgens and Liz Froemming to develop the ELA 8 curriculum. I’ve also taught ELA 7, Writing Intervention, Read 180, and AVID which have helped me to further develop strategies to support the various proficiencies of our students. I graduated as a President's Scholar, Cum Laude, with Honors from San Jose State University where I also completed my secondary teaching credential coursework. In my recent spare time I’ve attended professional development such as the Google Apps for Education Summit, the EdTech Innovation Summit, the Future Ready Learning Summit, the San Jose Area Writing Project, and the CSU English Reading and Writing Curriculum program in order to invigorate my teaching practice.
I can be reached by email at email@example.com