"The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires."(William Arthur Ward)
A new school year has just started and with it some new changes and some new teachers at our Chino Valley schools.
Rikkie Jensen moved here from Las Vegas with her husband and small son. She will be teaching Social Studies at Heritage Middle School.
"I love the small town atmosphere of Chino Valley. It seems like a good place to raise kids," Rikkie said.
She has been teaching school for the past six and a half years.
"I chose to teach Social Studies because I love history and its story telling. I like to use interaction such as technology and class resources because I think students need hands-on learning. In my class I will have the students do a project on their own life, like they write their own autobiography, bring in a visual aid, such as their favorite home-made food, or a poem or drawing," said Rikkie.
"I enjoy teaching children and watching them learn. It makes me feel so good when I see that they comprehend the lesson."
Del Rio Elementary has two new first grade teachers this year, Blair Bachman and Debby Schoenfeld.
Blair Bachman moved here from Minnesota to start her first teaching job.
"I've always wanted to be a teacher. When I was little I used to play school and put my notebooks on the floor and pretend they were my students," Blair said.
"The hardest part right now is learning the basics of the school, so I'm learning the routine along with the kids. But, I do love seeing the kids come into the class with a smile. It's refreshing to see how excited they are to be in school," she added.
Debby Schoenfeld has lived here for 23 years and was a teacher's aid at Cougar Lane Pre-school.
"I got into teaching because I wanted to further my education, and I wanted to help more with the children's education," said Debby.
Both Blair and Debby agree that they have to stay flexible and keep things interesting to capture and hold the first-graders' attention. One piece of technology that does this is the "smart board" that each classroom now has in place of blackboards.
"One of the neatest things about the smart board is that there are balls at the bottom of the screen that register noise levels. If the kids get too loud the balls start bouncing, so the children know to watch the ball and keep the noise level down. It's a great learning tool for them," Debby said. "My goal is to see my kids achieve all of their first grade learning objectives and have joy in the journey."
Karen Robinson is starting her first year of teaching in the kindergarten at Mingus Springs Charter School here in Chino Valley.
"I've always wanted to teach school and although it took me nine years to get my degree, I just kept going. I'm really looking forward to teaching my class how to read and learn their numbers," said Karen.
Karen said she likes to think of unique ways to teach the children and hold their attention.
"I love doing projects with them. One of the things we've done is I put a bunch of shaving cream on the art table and the students practice making their letters and numbers in the shaving cream. The kids really love it," Karen said.
Sarah Rosengren, who has been teaching for the past four years, moved here from Texas to teach freshman English at Chino Valley High School.
"This is my first year in a public school. I have always taught in a private school, and you get so much more training and support in public schools that we didn't get in private schools," said Sarah.
Sarah shared that she likes her class to work in groups.
"I think they learn from one another because they support each other," she said.
Sarah loves teaching and being part of the freshman students' learning process.
"Being a freshman is a big change for these students and it's cool to be part of it," Sarah said.
"I also like this small school district. It feels like family because you meet everyone from the bus drivers up to the superintendent, and I've never had that opportunity before," she said.