I have been working in the field of education for sixteen years and teaching internationally as a certified educator for eleven years. I am a certified ESOL teacher and have worked with students ranging from kindergarten to adults using a wide variety of models, such as sheltered immersion, inclusion (co-planning and co-teaching), and bilingual. As an experienced and certified elementary classroom teacher, I am also passionate about play, inquiry, and student-centered learning.
The keys to my professional success are connection and communication. My upbringing, studies and diverse teaching experiences have fostered a strong desire to connect with and make space for people who differ culturally, socially, economically, linguistically or physically. Ultimately, people want to be acknowledged and valued. I am able to listen carefully, ask thoughtful questions, provide genuine and considerate feedback, and maintain collaborative relationships with my students, parents, colleagues and administrators. In addition to modeling this for my students, I provide scaffolds for them to communicate effectively and respectfully with one another.
My most recent role as the team lead for an elementary EAL program has allowed me to grow as a leader, co-teacher and instructional coach. I have thoroughly enjoyed the emphasis on professional collaboration which creates such a positive and productive teaching environment. I have also built meaningful relationships with my students, parents and colleagues as we invest our time and hearts into the children’s linguistic, intellectual and social-emotional growth. I take such pride in helping to create inclusive school communities where all students are nurtured and able to discover the joys of learning.
Lena has developed professionally in every way possible, and what is more important is that she was responsible for her own career development; she never hesitated to put in any effort that she thought would be in the benefit of the students, school or her own development."
She proved to be a very effective, hard working, dependable, and proactive ESL Coordinator and teacher and maintained a very good working relationship with the administration, fellow teachers, staff, students and parents."
Her welcoming demeanor, energy and friendly personality have enabled her to build good rapport with her students."