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Top Teaching Blogger

Nancy Jang

My name is Nancy Jang and I have been teaching second grade for 18 years at Woodland Elementary School in Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Starting my 19th year, I am excited to move to teaching first graders. The unique grade configuration of the school — kindergarten to second grade — enables us to target our funding and resources specific to primary instruction and interventions. With our school boundaries including two cities, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, the socioeconomic backgrounds of our students is quite diverse. Each classroom serves approximately twenty students with about seven classes per grade level.

My background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of California in Irvine and a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in reading from California State University Fullerton. Currently I serve as a Science-Math trainer, STAR Den representative, and Art’s Advantage coordinator. I consider my role and passion as a teacher to integrate art, science, and technology into all other curricular areas. The visual and performing arts, science and technology, not only prepare students academically, they engage students, provide enrichment for gifted students, and visual and verbal cues for English Learners. Implementing the arts, science, and technology brings out my best teaching skills.

In my classroom, students understand that it is okay to make mistakes as long as a person learns from his or her mistakes. It is important to follow your passion, and I lead by example. My students receive problem solving opportunities everyday, as I believe children need to practice critical thinking and problem solving in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal all my students strive to achieve with my guidance is improvement, just to be a little bit better today, than they were yesterday, day by day. With each day we celebrate those milestones, benchmarks, and achievements. We try our best, every day.

Finding time means creating time. Although testing skills are life skills, students must develop creativity, design, empathy, storytelling, love of learning, identify patterns/systems, and construct meaning. Without practicing these skills, our students will master test-taking, yet little else. I enjoy finding a way to include creativity, while systematically and explicitly teaching researched based programs.

Every child deserves access to the entire curriculum. All the curriculum ensures students master their reading and math skills through a rich instructional environment which includes the arts, science, technology, writing, and history.

Top Teaching bloggers are paid contributors for the Scholastic Teachers website.

Grades

1–2

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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