#1. My favorite color is orange. By favorite, I mean I like as many things to be orange in my life as possible. Let me give you some examples. I drive an orange car (Honda Element), have an orange case for my MacBook, have three out of the four walls in my living room painted orange, usually write all school things related in orange ink and even wear a new orange Converse watch from my sis, Melissa. You get the idea. If it's orange, I want it. Here's me packing my Element for a summer program in my district. Boy can this thing fit a lot of stuff.
#2. I have two furbabies. A shih tzu named Tobias (Toby for short) who is 11 and a mixed-breed dog rescued from the Northeast Animal Shelter on March 18, 2012 named Winston. Winston turned one this past May. Winston is from sunny Los Angeles and was rescued from a kill shelter. He likes New England weather just fine. Winston enjoys dropping his toys in front of anyone repeatedly to play fetch, likes to snuggle and is quite the talker. Toby is the best! He loves to play with his toys by himself, loves to lounge in any of his three beds and never lets his tail rest; it's always wagging. Winston and Toby are spoiled and have bins of toys throughout the house on every floor, in every room. Here they are seeing Santa and sitting in the snow. Winston is on the left. Toby is on the right.
#3. I collect Christmas ornaments that are silver, gold, cranberry, orange (of course) or glittered. This year, we added a second Christmas tree in the dining room (not pictured).
#4. I have taught at the Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts for 15 years. It's a beautiful school built with a nautical theme. My career, there, included teaching fourth grade for 8 years and later being a reading coach under the Reading First grant for two years. My years at Bates concluded with my fifth year as a first grade teacher. Here is the Bates School, home of the Beacons.
Currently, I have moved to the Carlton Innovation Elementary School, also in Salem, Massachusetts. I've been lucky enough to be hired to work as a grades 1/2 teacher. This school, being an Innovation School, has been able to, under the direction of the principal, develop a program that best matches the needs of its learners. The Carlton School's mission statement sums this up nicely: "The goal of the Carlton Innovation School is to meet the individual needs of our students. Instruction takes place mostly in small groups through workshops in reading, writing, and math. The use of the Responsive Classroom program helps us create a community of learners while helping students grow socially and emotionally. Our motto is to 'Try hard and learn a lot!'" I'm honored to have joined the Carlton team for this model. Multi-aged classrooms, flexible groupings based on student need, project-based inquiry and team-teaching are a few perks that made this move an easy decision for me. Here is my new home away from home.
Salem is known as Halloween Central! We have a huge Haunted Happenings parade the first Thursday in October to kick off the season. All schools march in the parade. Her I am as Octavius Caesar for our Night at the Museum theme with my teaching buddy "Amelia Earhart." Check out those legs!
I love these ears! I thoroughly enjoyed being the March Hare for our Alice and Wonderland theme in this Haunted Happenings parade. Don't my Carlton Innovation School friends look great?
#5. I love my family...I know who doesn't? My family members have taught me to work hard, to have patients, to believe in myself and to know that I can accomplish anything if I set my mind to it. Here's some of my family at Easter and more of my family in Aruba.
#6. I rocked a mohawk. Although my hair is very curly, I managed to sport a mohawk for a few years or so. I know it wasn't the typical teacher haircut, but it's fun and my students loved it. Check me out going up a mountain to have lunch in Seattle.
Here are my former first grade teaching besties. We are Things One, Two and Three in celebration of Read Across America Day.
#8. I am a big fan of Reality TV. Some of my favorite shows include Survivor, Big Brother, Project Runway, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and of course Dance Moms.
#9. I am a pretty busy guy between teaching first grade and teaching at Salem State University, but when I can fit it in, I do have a few hobbies. I love to cook (I'm 100% Italian, baby) and bake, even though I don't eat red meat.I love to paint with acrylics on canvas and have a few paintings of mine in my house as well as in some of my friends' and families' homes. Also, I enjoy reading, traveling to warm places (like Mexico), and blogging. Here's a favorite pic of mine from the Viva Azteca, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Oh, I also am a big fan of Las Vegas and of Disney World...woohoo!
These are the three panels I painted in my dining room. I like things modern and geometric.
#10. Hmm. Last one. I guess this would have to include my need for a Dunkin' Donuts coffee every day. It's always a large iced, extra milk and two sugars...even in the winter time. On days when I teach at night, I usually end up with another large iced. It keeps me going, so I guess I "run on Dunks," after all. Besides iced coffee, I'm a candy-a-holic. Chocolate, anything sour, you name it, I like it. I can often be found shopping for home things I don't need in Pier1 imports too.
Other things about me include I have a few perfectly healthy obsessions. These include placing picture frames everywhere (whether or not they are filled with a photograph yet), lighting candles and buying things using Amazon Prime on Amazon.com. Get a credit card and score big points! Lastly, these things make my mouth water. I can eat a whole bag from the candy store any time, any place!