Hi, I'm Ms. Azalia!

AzaliaC

What languages do you speak?
I speak, read, and write English as I am also very fluent in Spanish for it is my mother tongue. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been teaching English/Language Arts at the college level  in Florida for seven years and I am excited to embark on a new journey which will allow for me to pass on my expertise, knowledge, and methodology to children within a community meriting educational excellence  and beginnings.  I have had the opportunity to instill the love for reading when designing an after-school book club program in which children shared their adventures they read and new vocabulary enhancing their verbal speech. It is my passion to begin the love for reading, writing, and vocabulary early in a child life for these skills will secure a brighter future for them.

What's your philosophy on what it means to be a great teacher?
I believe a great teacher, first, has a powerful faith in the future. The great teacher knows and understands, how they develop and learn. I know that children actively construct and transform their own knowledge based on past experiences and prior learning. I know that children do not learn in the same way or at the same rate. I believe it is my responsibility as a teacher to be an effective diagnostician of children interests, abilities, and prior knowledge. I must then plan learning experiences that will both challenge and allow every child to think and grow.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a teacher?
Design lessons and activities that give children the freedom, choice and fun.

In your opinion, what is the role of the live teacher in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to get access to information through the internet and online courses?
A live teacher will design activities that will help and affirm a child's understanding of content with a direct contact learning environment. A live teacher will demonstrate their passion of teaching and will go above and beyond for their student all the while offering praise and a smile. Online courses is a disconnect of true leaning as it is a disconnect to the educator.  A live teacher becomes concerned regarding a students' learning when observing behavior, something you cannot do while online.

How can we, as teachers of children, work to build a society where people are respectful towards each other and the environment?
Become a role model and an active contributor in demonstrating respect. We can be courteous and respectful in ordinary daily requests. The example parents and others set is the most powerful influence in our children. Showing real interest in the feelings of others and sharing our time with others are clear examples of compassion and non-selfishness. Helping children feel good about themselves by being a positive person. Compliment the child when he or she does something well. Children need to see themselves as givers as well as receivers. This happens only when the child has opportunities to be responsible at home and in the community.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Clarke in the fourth grade; she demonstrated compassion for her students, she dedicated herself in reassuring her students that mistakes were o.k. to make and it wasn't wrong for us to try again. It was her methodology in which my future was prompt; to become an educator such as herself. She never lost hope in her students, she praised us and gave us courage to move forward. She would always begin the day with "what do you want to be when you grow up"? In her eyes, we were perfect despite our faults, and it is just as I see my students now. "They are perfect despite their faults".

Share a teaching memory that had a profound impact on you.
I was teaching in Somerset Academy, Fl as a 6th grade Language Arts and Writing teacher. In this particular group of students, one child could not read nor write thus I had to design lessons based on his particular need. As time passed, and we had established a learning routine which allowed for me to have a one on one direct instruction with my particular child. First, to set a goal and work towards it, thus the students goal was to learn how to read one special book by the end of the school year. We practiced vocabulary, sentence structure, and reading everyday for eight months. Days before ending the school year, he volunteered for a talent show & flawlessly read the book & defined words others didn't know.

What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management?
I believe the prevention of inappropriate behavioral needs to be present within the classroom, as to allow students to be actively engaged in the learning process. This requires an understanding of students and their behavioral choices. I believe behavior can be determined by the thoughts, ideas and feelings experiences by the individual. Therefore, to establish an environment where instruction and learning can have effect, positive classroom management strategies should be evident in an environment that are supportive of students.

Do you have experience working with children with special needs? If so, please specify.
I have worked with students/children with autism ranging from mild to moderate.

Please list any relevant licenses, degrees or certifications.
Master's in Education specializing in Reading; Bachelors of Arts in English; Associates in Adolescence Psychology. Currently teaching Spanish I & II under a temporary certification.  I have not pursued licensure due to career change.