Sunday, August 25, 2013

1D Teachers

Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Downing

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Downing had so much fun in the Glowstick Dance during the Faculty Talent Show:-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

All About Mrs. Downing

I am so excited about teaching first grade again this year! We are looking forward to meeting all of our 1D Kids and making our community complete.

I am entering my twelfth year of teaching at Columbus Academy.  I began in first grade and then taught second grade for three years.  My professional life actually began in Social Work.  I received my Masters in Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and then worked as a Medical Social Worker at Cleveland Clinic.  My husband's work then bought us to Columbus and I taught Social Work at The Ohio State University.  I discovered my love for teaching, but wanted to teach children.   So, I pursued my Elementary Education degree from Ohio Dominican in 1998.   As I am an avid reader, I then completed my Reading Endorsement in Ashland University's graduate program in 2007.  Prior to teaching at Columbus Academy, I taught at Gahanna Jefferson Schools.

I live in Gahanna with my husband, Mike, and our youngest son, Matt, who is a sophomore at Bishop Hartley High School.  Our older two sons, Garrett and Chris live in Baltimore and Dayton.  Garrett works for the Baltimore Ravens on their digital media team.   Chris is completing his Masters in Educational Counseling while working in an Autism Center and coaching swimming.

Like Mrs. Simmons, my big love is teaching.  However, when I am not teaching I love to spend time with my family and friends.   We are big sports fans, particularly the Buckeyes, the Cleveland pro teams, and the Ravens.   We also enjoy cooking and eating out together.  When I have alone time, I spend it reading, scrapbooking, going to Starbucks, or going to the gym.  I will read fiction, non-fiction, young adult, and of course, children's books.  I  have a book or my Nook with me at all times!

As many of you may know, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl a few years ago.  This was an exciting time for our family and it was topped off last summer,  when I was so lucky to attend the Super Bowl ring ceremony with my son in Baltimore!  This was definitely something that I will not be doing every year!

I look forward to meeting all of you and starting a wonderful year together!

Friday, June 27, 2008

All About Mrs. Simmons

Hi! This is my 18th year of teaching at Columbus Academy. This picture shows me and my family at my son's graduation from CA in 2008. I taught kindergarten for 5 years at Academy, and I taught second grade for 7 years. Since I've already spent time with kindergartners and second graders, I love it that I now get to hang out with first graders! This is my sixth year as a first grade teacher. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Education and I completed the graduate program at Ashland University. I have a Masters degree in Education with a focus in the area of literacy. I also went through the National Boards process and achieved National Board certification. Recently I have focused on integrating technology into the classroom, so much of my professional development has been related to teaching kids to use technology as a tool. We use technology to find answers, make connections, and share our ideas ~ with each other, with our families, and with other students around the world.

O.K. ~ That's kind of the boring background stuff...What I really want you to know is that I LOVE to teach! I am so lucky to spend my days with the kids and faculty of Columbus Academy. My husband often tells me that my job is also my hobby, and that is true...even during the summer I spend lots of time gathering ideas, attending workshops, looking at other teachers' blogs, and preparing for the new school year. My family life is also quite connected to Columbus Academy. My husband and I have two children - Tony and Kelly. Tony is a member of CA's 2008 graduating class and Kelly graduated in 2010. Tony graduated from The College of Wooster and he recently earned his MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching). He plans to teach social studies. Kelly recently graduated from The College of Wooster and she is a embarking on a year of service with City Year here in Columbus. Yikes! I am the parent of two adult children! It still feels so strange that I am no longer a CA parent! When I started at Academy Tony was in second grade. Believe me, the time goes by very quickly! My family also has a very spoiled pug named Meggie.

Some tidbits about me:
I LOVE to read! I never go anywhere without a book. Though I was resistant at first, I have recently learned to love reading e-books as well, so you may find me reading on my iPad or Kindle in addition to more traditional print books.  I read fiction, non-fiction, and lots of children's books. It is very difficult to pick just one favorite children's book, but Frindle is one of my favorites. I also enjoy books by Kevin Henkes and Mo Willems. It is so much fun to share books with my students. My favorite fast food restaurant is Chipotle. I am addicted to burrito bowls, chips, and guacamole. YUM! I also make frequent trips to Starbucks and other coffee shops.  I am a HUGE Blue Jackets fan!!! Go Jackets! My hobbies include scrapbooking, attending hockey games, and hanging out with my family. I recently started curling and I curl a few nights a week during the winter months. Lake Erie is a special place for me. I go there every summer with my whole family. It is so much fun to spend time on the beach, visit with my brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, and family friends. My son and his girlfriend even got engaged at Lake Erie and they will be getting married in December of 2014.