Amy Christina Chiarella English Teacher/Teacher Leader
Who am I? • I have been married for 15 years to my husband Paul. • I have never lived outside of a one square mile section of Niagara Falls, NY • I have 4 children ages 14, 12, 9, and7 • I have 2 Siberian Huskies and a long haired cat who thinks he’s a dog! • I love to quilt and previously taught dance (tap, jazz, and ballet) for 23 years of my life!
My kids at Jackson Hole, WY this past summer. Max- 7 Kathleen - 14 Jack- 12 Molly - 9
Education • SUNY College at Buffalo December 1993, Bachelor of Science- Secondary English Education • SUNY College at Buffalo December 1998, Masters of Professional Studies, Reading Specialist K-12 • Niagara University August 2009- Advanced Certificate- Teacher Leader
Experience • 1994-Present- English Teacher for Niagara Falls City School District • Levels taught: 9th grade Regents English, 9th grade Accelerated English, 10th grade Regents English, 11th grade Regents English, 11thgrade Advance Placement (English Literature and Composition), 12th grade Regents English, 12th grade Advanced Placement (Language and Composition), Creative Writing (Senior elective) and Journalism (Senior elective) • Currently teaching AP Language and Composition and Creative Writing.
Teacher Leadership • 2001-Present, English Department Chair. • Worked cooperatively with colleagues to meet the ever-changing standards for education and deal comprehensively with challenges posed to our district by NCLB and AYP. • Developed vertical teams within department to address concerns of Advanced Placement and Accelerated teachers. • Published curriculum documents outlining the breadth and depth of each grade level and provided information to new teachers.
Teacher Leadership Continued • Developed the Niagara Falls High School Styles Guide that was published on the nfschools.net website. This guide was used by core and special subject teachers through out the district to align writing expectations throughout the school. • Worked on a team that developed and implemented the NFHS “School-Wide Read” that chose one book each year to read and conduct an in-depth study of. Enrichment activities have included guest speakers on pertinent topics, art displays geared toward the central themes of the books chosen, and cross-age discussion groups to help underclassmen and upper classmen connect through literature. • Was mentor teacher for the district’s implementation of the web-based Power School grading and attendance program. Received training and served as a turn-key trainer for the program.
Teacher Leadership Continued • Served as a turn-key trained for the district’s transition to Smartboard technology • Regional trainer for O/N BOCES for the correction of the NYS English Exam. Ran correction teams for district and instructed other districts in developing their correction teams.
Philosophy • As a student reach their final year in high school there are many aspects of their educational career that are in place, if his/her high school has been successful, to help them build a successful adulthood. It is my goal as a teacher to adequately prepare all students who take my classes to be literate in reading and writing but, more importantly, be literate citizens who can read and evaluate news pieces, media stories and online information and make critical judgments on how that information fits into their schema and what they can do with the information to better understand the world around them.
Curricular Work • 2001-2002, Member of the ELA Curricular Revision team. Work focused on realignment of existing scope and sequence charts to meet the NYS Learning Standards and the NY 11th grade ELA Comprehensive Exam. New texts were chosen and local exams were written. “Common tasks” were designed to create a bank of tasks that mimicked the NYS ELA exam and could be used in conjunction with existing units of study. • 2004-2005,Member of the Digital Media Program. Served as the English member for the group. Directed cross-curricular alignment and advised other members on LA learning standards and writing genres and techniques.
Curricular Work Continued • 2007-2008: Member English Language Arts Curriculum Revision Team. Acted as lead teacher on the 11th and 12th grade team. Guided curricular revision, included the introduction of classroom libraries and the “School-Wide Read.” Also added a vocabulary arm to the curriculum to enhance students vocabulary skills. • 2010-Present: Served as lead teacher for the introduction of and beginning realignment with the Common Core State Standards. Currently serving as the lead teacher on a team that is designing and implementing new units of study that are aligned to CCSS.
Extra Curricular Experience Working with students on an extra curricular basis has provided me with some of the most rewarding teaching experiences I have had. These experiences include: • 2003-present, Niagara Falls High School Prospective yearbook advisor. I managed a staff of up to 15 students and worked cooperatively with senior class advisors and administration to ensure all parties had what they desired in a yearbook, all the while maintaining my vision for the aesthetic of our yearbook. • 2004-Present,The Chronicle, online school newspaper. I train and staff a group of students who are responsible for the editing, writing and layout of our periodical. • 2008-2011, Knitting club. I ran and facilitated the knitting club which was a community service organization that met regularly and trained students to make 9.5 inch squares we then gave to the Roswell Park Caner Institute Knitters Guild. They were made into lap afghans and given to patients in the chemotherapy lab. We donated more than 900 squares.
Additional Information • I am proficient in all Microsoft Word products and Adobe Photoshop, and CS 3 Design. • I have excellent oral communication and written skills. • I am a proven leader and team member who does not shy away from challenges and takes on the role of organizer and guide if given the opportunity.