About Ms. Keller
Hello, and welcome! My name is Barbie (Barbara) Keller and this is my class website. I am a 5th and 6th grade multi-age teacher, and I love my job! I also love and firmly believe in the multi-age philosophy, and have become a stronger supporter of it each year after seeing the positive effects it has had on my graduating students. For more info on my multi-age philosophy, see the FAQ section of this website (above), or download my parent handbook on the main home page. I am very passionate about working with and learning from my students and their families, and I'm happy to share my enthusiasm with every new person that I meet.
This fall marks my tenth year teaching at Pearl Creek! Since joining Pearl Creek, I've had the pleasure of substitute teaching K-6, as well as teaching 3rd through 6th grade students. I'm very excited to rejoin the great staff, students, and parents for the 2019-2020 school year!
My teaching philosophy is ever-evolving due to the dynamics of the students I work with and the influences of other teachers I learn about. The two tenets that I still grasp onto for what I do in the classroom still follow:
1. One-on-One Matters
My goal this year, as was with previous years, will be to hold one-on-one literacy/writing/reading conferences with my students, and balance small group instruction with direct instruction and personalized learning so that I can build rapport with my students, and know them as individuals.
2. Make what we do in school relevant
I feel it is important to ask myself the following questions:
- Are the skills we practice helpful in real-life?
- Will this activity/lesson encourage my students to want to learn or explore more about the subject?
- Is there anything to back this up as being helpful for my students?
With the age of the Internet, and our ability to "Google" anything, learning skills are more important than ever. Additionally, I find it important to take time to talk about what we are reading, writing, and learning; having the choice to select our own books;and allowing time to learn from each other and retry something.
Borrowing from the Montessori philosophy, I believe as well in:
- a deep respect for children as unique individuals
- teaching children to be kind and respectful
- creating a strong sense of community
- helping children assume leadership roles
- hands-on, concrete investigative learning
- developing student self-discipline
- fostering student motivation and sense of purpose
- collaboration among students, parents, and teachers
- fostering independent learners
A little more about me:I hold a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UAF, where I also received my B.A. in Elementary Education. I was born in Savannah, Georgia, but I've lived in Alaska almost my entire life and I love it here. I have two younger brothers, and one older sister with special needs. In my free time I enjoy weightlifting, photography/videography, and playing drums in two bands. When I get time off I like to travel, go camping, and spend time with family and friends.