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Jacqueline Boniface Haas: Educator Personal Statement

I am the middle child of twelve brothers and sisters, seven of whom are teachers, three of us with international school experience. My father was also a high school teacher, dean and vice principal. I feel that children and education are in my blood: a part of my make-up. I possess the characteristics necessary to be a successful teacher: patience, sensitivity to individual needs, flexibility, and knowledge of educational methodology. My passion for teaching drives me to excel in meeting the needs of every child in my classroom. Every child has a right to learn and it is my responsibility to see that the children in my classroom learn. Children are unique and learn in different ways. It is my job to assess, analyze, determine and implement the most appropriate methods to teach a child. I am able to look at the whole child: the social, emotional and academic aspects that affect his/her development. My training at Columbia Teachers College Readers and Writers Workshops has given me valuable tools to complement the personality and skill set I already possessed. My 20 years of experience teaching language arts, social studies, and special services at the elementary and middle school levels has prepared me well for just about any teaching situation. I began my career teaching in a small, multi-cultural school district in northern California. I taught third through seventh grade learning disabled children in a self-contained classroom. I also coached the elementary school track and field team and headed the high school varsity girls basketball program. I learned the value of seeking out mentors, a role I have tried to reciprocate with my younger colleagues now that I find myself on the other side of the experience wheel. My overseas career began in Dsseldorf, Germany where I was the resource specialist teaching kindergarten through eighth grade. I taught select units to regular classes, teamtaught, pushed in for small group instruction and saw individuals in a pull-out program. I also served as a home base advisor and coached high school volleyball and basketball. Here I realized the advantages of the international school system and decided to dedicate my career to working in overseas schools. I have been at Singapore American School for 20 years now. I spent the first two as the middle school resource teacher. My unique position as a member of all three grade-level teams necessitated my involvement in many areas of curricular, counseling and special service planning and program development. I also served as liaison between special services, administration and the learning communities. I took the next few years off of fulltime teaching to have two children. During that time I filled in on many long-term substitute stints, tutored and completed my masters degree in early childhood education. I returned to SAS full-time when my son entered pre-school. The past ten years I have been teaching sixth grade reading and language arts and social studies. I have been instrumental in the implementation of Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop throughout our school and have attended Columbias summer workshops. As Classroom Without Walls coordinator, I developed a highly successful program that takes our 300 sixth graders to Malaysia for a three-day immersion into the local Malay culture and ecosystem. My enthusiasm inside and outside the classroom is evident in everything I do. I love sports, have participated in many school curricular and extracurricular activities, and served on school and community committees. I am a professional who sets high standards for my colleagues, my students and myself. I am an avid reader of young adult literature and work hard to keep pace with educational technology. I am an active member of PLCs for social studies and reading and language arts. I possess a wealth of experience, expertise and excitement that will make me an asset to any faculty.