It’s nice to meet you!

It’s nice to meet you!

Hi all!  It is very exciting to be one of the newest members of Canisius College’s Graduate Blog team!  I can’t wait to share my experiences in regards to living in Buffalo, attending Canisius, and everything else in between!  To start I thought I would share a few things about myself.


1.  I hold my bachelor’s degree from Canisius College which has provided me with my Early Childhood, Childhood and Special Education teaching certifications.


My best friend, Lauren, and I at undergraduate graduation! Believe it or not, we met at freshman orientation 4 years prior.

2.  I am a third year, special education teacher in the Buffalo Public School District.  I have experience in co-teaching and special classrooms.  I currently have a fourth grade 15:1.  Side note to all of the special education majors…Did you know “self-contained” classrooms are now referred to as “special classrooms”?


Here is one of my students working on her fast math multiplication.


3.  I currently in the Advanced Special Education Graduate program at Canisius studying for my master’s degree.  I have begun my final class!

4.  I am a retired NFL Cheerleader and captain for the Buffalo Jills.  I guess you can say I am a Buffalo Bills fan!


My 2014-2015 line.


5.  I am absolutely obsessed with  my two dogs, Ricky and Charlie.  Ricky is the pug and Charlie is the boxer.


My dogs are (sometimes) pals!  Here is when I caught them getting along.

This list could continue but I would hate to bore my readers with my first post.  Thank you for taking the time to learn about my life.  I would love to know a bit about my readers so feel free to comment down below!

Technology In Our Schools

Technology In Our Schools

Think about this question for a minute:  How old were you when you got your first cell phone?  If you thought about it, and you are like me, and you got your phone sometime while you were in high school you are in good company.  Most of our generation remembers life before cell phones and smart phones were a common commodity, I even remember having to use a pay phone in high school before getting a cell phone.  It dawned on me today that kids and students these days don’t know a life without technology.

While substitute teaching at a local high school this past week I caught a glimpse of how different the interaction between kids, technology, and education is now a days.  Back when I was in high school if you were lucky enough to have a cell phone it had to be shut off, in your locker, and out of sight.  If a teacher or an administrator caught you with it, forget about it, the phone was taken and locked up and you weren’t allowed to have it back until the end of the school day.  Having to retrieve the phone wasn’t an easy task either and it usually involved a lengthy conversation with that particular teacher on why we don’t use cell phones in school.  Today, however, my students were all roaming the halls with their phones in their hands texting and checking Instagram.  When they came into class many of them had ear buds in listening to music.  It is up to the teacher’s discretion to create a rule about technology (cellphones, tablets, iPads, and computers) in the classroom.  While teaching U..S. History I had to remind my students several times that just because I was a substitute that didn’t mean that the policy changed; phones had to be put away until the lesson and all work was completed.  A far cry from “If I see your phone out I am gonna take it.”

So what are teachers supposed to do in an age where students have access to technology, instant gratification, and answers 24/7?  Many teachers are struggling to answer that question.  Technology, such as, cellphones has become a distraction in the classroom because students are trying to check notifications without being caught and tuning learning out.  while reading an article for one of my graduate classes at Canisius, I was given an unexpected answer to the technology question; it essentially being “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”  The article offered the answer that by incorporating technology into classroom instruction we will get students excited about learning again.  They will be given the opportunity to work with and use the resources that they love and are familiar with.  By incorporating technology into the classroom students will be excited to show off their knowledge and skills, and will be motivated to do more school work and learning.

Teachers might be thinking  “How can I incorporate technology into my classroom?”  The good news is- it is extremely easy!  It can be done through unit based webquests, student created podcasts on virtually any topics, or even a simple exit text where students can tell what they learned that day or a teacher can ask a specific question for the students to answer.  There are many different websites and resources for teachers to use to implement this technology into their classrooms, as well as, teach the teachers how to use it.

The moral of the story is you can’t fight the use of technology in schools but teachers can teach students how to use technology in an appropriate way that promotes learning, not a struggle for control.


Quote of the Week: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” -Nelson Mandela

To Ph.D or Not to Ph.D – Sorry, What’s the Question?

Now that the Graduate School machine is chugging along, an object in motion should, theoretically, stay in motion, right?  Looking forward to a possible entry into the Ph.D program is, therefore, a distinct possibility for the future. Acquiring a Ph.D is an endeavour not to be taken lightly; the amount of hours and effort it takes to write a dissertation has a great impact on a student’s life, at any age.  When you’re old enough to remember rotary phones and Pong, the chances of finishing a Ph.D before being able to take advantage of the Early Bird Seniors’ Special at local restaurants seems like a Herculean feat.  Also, when I whispered the idea of pursuing a Ph.D to my husband, there was a distinct eye roll and groan, followed by “THE LOOK”. Any of you whom have had a significant other will know what this expression consists of:  at least one raised brow and a look of complete mortification.  After receiving THE LOOK, I wondered what the reaction others might have; here are some of the thoughts that came to mind:

From Family:

“Honey, are you going to get a real job before you die?””

“Seriously, Dad…stop comparing my grades to Grandma’s!”

“It’s not like you can operate on anybody, Mom” (more…)

Graduate School of Rock

Ladies and Gentlemen, put your hands together for the Graduate School of Rock band…Let me introduce you to the people that make the weekly drive and effort all worthwhile…

On steel drums, Sug; the heart and soul of the band, Sug shares her love with everyone, allowing all types of vocabulary to fly around the room, never engaging in F-bombs during stressful times.  Already a published author, Sug stays true to her faith and is one of the most talented members of the band.

On bass, Tito the Ninja…the brains of the band, Tito stays silent most of the time, then out of nowhere, slides in with ninja like precision, saying some off the wall comment that summarizes an entire lesson down to one word.  Respectively, also the funniest guy in the band.

On lead vocals, Manchild; half man, half child, vocalizes the needs of others (more…)

Anyone, Anyone? Bueller?

What kind of teacher do we want to be upon completion of Graduate School?   Here are some of the teaching styles encountered thus far along the way:

The Bueller – Speaks…in…monotone..loves…research…but probably hasn’t taught an actual child since Moses created the tablet.  Can commonly be heard saying, “The scientist attached to this theory is….?  Usual reaction from the students is an instantaneous head jerk while simultaneously clicking “Like” on the latest Facebook puppy meme, at the same time thinking  “Please don’t pick me, I promise to listen next time…Oh, more puppy memes!”

Amazing Grace – The pedagogue who makes every day worth the effort and workload; epitomizes the definition of “teacher” and brings back sweet childhood memories of that one teacher we all remember. (more…)

The Dinosaur Who Attended Grad School

Graduate School!  How exciting it was to think about finally becoming a teacher after many years, and acquiring my Masters Degree at the same time!  Exciting and challenging; you see, I’m a “mature” student; mature in age, yet not in manner’.  What led me to attend Canisius after completing my undergrad in 1996 (yes, I dated Fred Flintstone…and Barney)?   (more…)