Featured author: Lonnie Dai Zovi
With almost four decades (and counting!) of experience teaching Spanish, ESL, science, math, and social studies, Lonnie has taught all grade levels and even higher education. She has taught in a variety of environments including small towns, big cities, and juvenile detention centers.
We chatted with Lonnie about her experience teaching and being a successful TES author, and here’s what she had to say about:
Her process for creating resources
The products I create are to fill voids that I find in my teaching. I never have had to think about products to write, they are already written in one form or another and approved by real students. I usually have to check for typos, improve or add pictures, and improve upon parts that may not have worked as well as I had wished. If the product worked in my classroom, I believe it will work in others’ as well.
Advice for a first year teacher
First year teachers have tremendous challenges ahead of them, but hopefully they are counter-balanced by the intrinsic rewards. If you can, go to conferences, attend webinars, and if available, get a mentor. Also realize that you will wish you could spend 24 hours a day preparing, correcting, and creating for your students. You can’t. Do your best and it will probably be enough.
A time she impacted a student
I use a lot of music in my language learning classes to help teach vocabulary more permanently and increase general fluency. I always swear to other teachers that I meet that music works for ALL students. But when Becky, my goth, uninterested, bored, “don’t talk to me” student didn’t respond to my lovely songs and activities, I was surprised and disheartened. However, that same day at lunch, my philosophies and efforts were validated when Becky’s friend came in to tell me that she and Becky sang today’s song all lunch. A few years later, I met Becky working at a department store where she not only remembered me, but proceeded to tell me that she was teaching her dad Spanish, (did she learn any with me?) and that she was using all my songs to do so! That proves that teachers DO impact their students, even though they don’t always realize it.
This interdisciplinary resource merges the arts and language learning in one great lesson plan. Students learn vocabulary while exploring, coloring, and critiquing a few of El Greco’s masterpieces. El Greco, the perfectionist, famously said “nothing pleases me,” but we think this lesson will certainly please you!
This resource is fantastic for teaching English language learners or kids with special needs. Lonnie includes a variety of activities for students to explore and learn about cells. From crossword puzzles to pictorial fill-in-the-blanks, your students will remain engaged and, most importantly, remember what you’re teaching them.
Sing a song! Learn french vocabulary! The French Cantiques, Rythmes et Rimes resource implements the proved brain research methods of using music and rhymes to learn vocabulary in a fun and engaging way. This bundle includes professionally recorded songs, words to songs, and fill-in-the-blank sheets.