Welcome to my world of words! My name is Patty Blome and I am a 9th grade English/ Read 180 teacher at San Ysidro High School - Home of the COUGARS- in south San Diego. I am wrapping up my third year at San Ysidro High, proudly returning to my childhood community to teach after teaching middle school in central San Diego for 12 years. Working with adolescents is right in my "wheelhouse," you might say; I thrive on the energy, humor, and the challenges that come with working with this dynamic age group. My husband, Brad believes it helps me remain a big kid, which comes in handy with our two children, Hannah and David.
The community of San Ysidro is the southernmost community within the city of San Diego. If you were to drive into Mexico via the world's busiest international border, you would drive right through the heart of San Ysidro. The construction and opening of San Ysidro High School in 2002 was much anticipated and has become a community jewel. Up until six years ago, high school students in the community were separated into two neighboring schools for the first time since they began kindergarten, which was difficult on families and splintered loyalties within the community. The staff at the school recognized this and has worked tirelessly to build and maintain community pride among students, parents, and staff. Visitors to SYH continually remark on the "vibe" they feel when they walk on campus for the first time. There is definitely something great going on here and I am proud to be a part of it!
Over 90% of our student population is Latino. This has posed some unique challenges when it comes to teaching English. For a large population of our students, English is their second language. However, rather than focusing on what my students feel they can't do or don't know, I base my instruction on what they do know. This asset-based approach to teaching helps me accurately determine what level I should begin my instruction and, more importantly, passes on a feeling of "I can do this" for students. As an added bonus, working from an asset-based approach, closes all options of student failure. Once students identify what they already know, they've proven they have the ability to learn. With this approach, success is an attainable outcome for all of my students.
How do I know? I like to use frequent authentic assessments such as conferences with students, word sorts, journaling, etc. to help me accurately identify my students' specific areas of need and allow me a chance to differentiate instruction that will ultimately move my students to a level of proficiency.
I love going to work everyday to work with great young people who inspire ME to do great things. A few great quotes really sum up what I believe in:
"I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom:
- It's my daily mood that makes the weather.
- As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
- I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
- I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
- In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."Dr. Haim Ginott (from Teacher and Child)
"The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher."
"The aim of education should be teaching us how to think, rather than what to think."