4th/5th Grades with JoEd Sennes
How old were you when you knew what you wanted to do in life? I was six years old. My grandfather gave me a little chalkboard easel and a box of bright white chalk for Christmas that year. Since I was in kindergarten at the time, and I knew all of my letters and numbers, I felt like an expert on the subject of writing and math. My two brothers could not escape the classroom I so meticulously set-up in my closet and for years to come, held school out of this makeshift classroom and a few others around our farm.
My love for teaching grew through high school as I volunteered to work with younger children in youth groups and summer camps. After completing high school in the Wood River Valley, I went on to finish my undergrad degree at the College of Idaho. It was the perfect little liberal arts school that allowed me explore the many areas of education. I majored in elementary education and art. Teachers should continue to grow and I am now in the process of completing my Masters in Science Leadership in STEAM through the University of San Diego.
This is my fifteenth year teaching. In those fifteen years, I have been a reading recovery teacher at Bellevue Elementary School in Bellevue Idaho and then moved to Wood River Middle School. For eight years I taught language arts and social studies to sixth graders. After a sabbatical leave of a year to be mom, I headed back to work this time at Hailey Elementary School in the 5th grade. My stay in 5th grade was brief because my family and I decided to move to the Central Coast of California and I landed safely in the apple orchards of Bellevue Santa Fe Charter School. For the past seven years I have taught fourth and fifth graders in White Forum and I am proud to call the Central Coast and Bellevue home.
My interests are diverse. When I am not at school, you may find me outside exploring nature with my family, creating art in my garage or cooking up some new dish. Over the years, my passions have changed to accommodate my aging knees, and I have replaced them with activities that I can do with my son and husband—evening walks or bike rides suit me just fine.
Nothing has changed, however, about my passion for teaching. The kids bring me back, day after day, week after week and year after year. It’s their visits years after they leave my classroom and the stories they tell me of the great many things they have learned over the years that makes my teacher heart smile and gives purpose to what I do.
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