Growing up in Pittsburgh and living in a rural area, provided many opportunities to explore the highlights of a big city, yet live in a suburb playing with friends, experiencing great schools, and great teachers. One teacher, in particular, encouraged me to follow my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. Being especially fond of young children, my studies in college focused on Early Childhood Education. After completing college, I earned a BS in Elementary Education and an MS in Elementary Education. Following my husband's profession in banking, we moved frequently due to bank mergers of the time. This enabled me to teach in several different geographic locations, cultures, and education scenarios. My favorite teaching experience was teaching Kindergarten in an all-girls' school in Philadelphia (The Agnes Irwin School). Using an eclectic approach in language skills, our team developed an all-day Kindergarten curriculum using "Words on the Walls", Whole Language (Big and Little Books), Phonetics, writing journals, learning "Word" on their laptop computers, etc. It was a very busy day, yet our attempt was to incorporate all the language skills into other subject areas: Science, Social Studies, Math, etc. We called this "webbing" at the time. Our main objective was to introduce academics in a playful, healthy environment, where children can explore and discover their inborn interests. After teaching there for 12 years I earned a sabbatical leave for research and health purposes. This sabbatical leave provided a platform for me to recover from my first husband's untimely death and research "The Best Practices in Teaching Kindergarten". In the year 2000, I remarried Jim Hogg (Hoag). Three years later we moved to Hendersonville, NC for a fresh start and to say goodbye to friends, great food, and family in Philly.
In August 2003 - 2006, I taught Kindergarten at Veritas Christian Academy. Using the curriculum "The Reading Road to Writing" and "The Spalding Approach", I discovered how easily children learn reading and writing using a multi-sensory approach. Research proves when teaching speech, spelling, writing, and reading; a total language arts program, children thrive with a multi-selection of materials. Using the instructional materials of literature, phonographs, and spelling, the students learn the purpose of every task and discover how speech is connected to print.
After my three-year tenure at Veritas, I gravitated toward a part-time teaching posture. I tutored individuals and groups of students in a gamut of subjects. Concentrating mostly on reading and writing skills, I taught at the Biltmore Home School Ministry and Convenient Tutor.
Most recently, I am substituting in HCPS and volunteering on a committee affiliated with HCPS, to help "better" prepare children for Kindergarten. My objective in volunteering on this committee is to educate parents and early childhood teachers in support of important strategies and goals of early childhood opportunities. My objective in substituting in HCPS is to gain knowledge and practices of current-day curriculums.
As a teacher, parent, and now grandparent, I am convicted that learning is a three-person partnership: parent, child, teacher. With this in mind, I believe children can learn "to be the best that they can be" in any healthy learning environment emphasizing cognitive, social, and emotional development during early childhood years.