In my 20 years as an educator, I have taught grades preschool through 5th, but my passion lies in teaching kindergarten. My name is Tiffani Mugurussa and I teach kindergarten in Northern California. I have always wanted to work with children, and at one point in my early college days I thought about being a juvenile probation officer. My grandfather, who worked in law enforcement, was quick to tell me “no.” He suggested that I be a teacher like his mother because teaching is a means to help kids before they reach someone in his trade. I took his advice and now can’t imagine doing anything else.
I attended Sonoma State University where I received a BA in Psychology, a multiple subject teaching credential, and an MA in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language. I like to teach out of the box and am always willing to try something new. You will often find me sitting on the carpet with my 5-year-olds instead of in my teacher chair. I like to present learning at their level — literally. I’m always looking for new ideas that will allow me to teach smarter, not harder, and I love to incorporate technology whenever I can.
Although my technology resources are very limited, I make do with what I have and try my best to bring my lessons alive. I’ve recently discovered PowerPoint as a way to engage my young students. For instance, our school has a set list of sight words that kids have to know. I found that I could put them into a PowerPoint instead of flash cards and present them on a big screen. I incorporate this into our morning routine so that as children arrive at the classroom, they have an activity to engage them while I answer questions from parents. Having parents in the classroom is a part of kindergarten life, and I hope to share some of my strategies for using that to classroom advantage.
My passion for technology includes the World Wide Web. I’ve had several class Web pages and blogs over the last ten years. Blogging has allowed me to connect with so many fellow teachers I would never have met otherwise. I feel very fortunate to be an active participant online, sharing my work, ideas, and creations via my blog.
I live with my husband, our two teenage kids, our pound puppy, and an adopted cat. When I’m not teaching or working on classroom materials, I like to spend my time crafting, scrapbooking, baking, and blogging.