Years at OCCS: 20 years
Educational Background: BA from Dordt College
Professional Experience: I taught 3 years in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades at Mount Vernon Christian School in Mount Vernon, Washington. I then taught 4 years in a 2nd and 3rd grade combination classroom at Sheldon Christian School in Sheldon, IA. For the past 20 years I have been at OCCS, one year in 1st grade and 19 years in Kindergarten.
Family: My husband, Rob, works at EZ-liner Industries in Orange City. We have 3 children. Noah (22) works for Vogel Traffic Services, Chloe (19) attends Morningside College, majoring in communications, and Isaac (16) is a sophomore at Unity Christian High School.
Program Core Values and Ethical Responsibilities
1. Ethical responsibilities to children
I have the great blessing of working with children every day. I believe when working with children, you need to establish ideas and criteria that promote the greatest growth in the child. I view each child that enters my classroom as a child of God. Each child is unique with gifts and challenges. I feel it is my responsibility as their teacher to provide them with the care and education at the highest level I am able to give them. I need to respect their character as well as provide guidance and correction where needed. Students in my classroom should feel safe physically and emotionally. For my classroom to be a place of learning, I need to make my students comfortable and the environment non-threatening. I will provide a high-quality education using best practices in early education. My goal is to reflect Christ to my students.
2. Ethical responsibilities to families
Another aspect of what I do relates to the parents of my students. I know my parents care greatly for their children’s well-being and it is my responsibility to keep parents informed of what is taking place in the classroom. I need to show my support to the family if times are hard or if they are going through special circumstances. I need to work with parents to educate their student. I try to keep an open communication with parents and make sure they feel my respect to them as God ultimately gives parents the job of educating their children, and I am the tool they are trusting to guide their treasured possession. I hope to develop trust with my families to ensure a safe environment for the welfare of all my students and their families.
3. Ethical responsibilities to personnel
I try to keep my school a place where positive speech can be found and support can be given. There may be times when colleagues disagree on a topic, but mature discussions and problem-solving should take place to ensure the school is Christ-centered and solutions can be found. I also want to support my fellow teachers by listening to them and respecting their ideas. My principal was placed in a position of authority of me and I need to show him the respect he deserves. Ongoing training and professional development should be available to ensure teachers are continually evaluating and improving teaching methods.
4. Ethical responsibilities to the school/community
My school has a great mission statement which I commit to sharing through my teaching. My school is part of the greater community and it is important that we can be reflected in our community in a positive light. We are God’s hands and feet in Orange City and I hope I can present my school’s core values and beliefs in a way that reflects Christ. My aim is to be an involved and supportive member of the early childhood profession in my community. I hope to manage resources responsibly and make sure their use is purposeful.
In summary, I want to stress that my code of ethics lies in the hands of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all of my sins and in appreciation for that amazing gift, I need to live my life in gratitude. In living my life for Christ in the classroom, I must have ongoing self-reflection of my teaching and my attitude. I must be a reflection of Christ for all those I come in contact with. I know that this is not something I can do without the work of the Holy Spirit living in me. I pray the Lord will give me strength and wisdom to live and teach for Him.