Mrs. Karen Vino
Teaching Background and Experience
In May of 2003, I completed a bachelor’s degree at Shippensburg University in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I currently teach kindergarten at McAdoo/Kelayres Elementary/Middle School in the Hazleton Area School District. This is my first year as a “permanent” hire with the district.
Before becoming a kindergarten teacher, I worked as a long-term substitute with the district’s Early Intervention program. Through such an opportunity, I worked as an Itinerant Teacher traveling to various childcare locations to evaluate children's needs and strengths, as well as, plan and implement IEPs for eligible students. I have also provided instruction, managed the classroom environment, and promoted student learning in the absence of the regular classroom teacher in two long term placements of A.M. and P.M. Early Intervention preschool classrooms. Prior to that, I served as a lead teacher for nearly seven years with Luzerne County Head Start. The position enabled me to work on school readiness and developmentally appropriate practices for seventeen multicultural and bilingual children. I set goals and implemented lessons, as well as, evaluated and recorded children’s progress while working hand-in-hand with parents and in accordance with the national and state standards and agencies.
Although I have been differentiating instruction in my classroom with various learning centers, activities, and individualized goals due to the various needs and learning styles of my students, I am new to integrating technology as a means of doing so. This is mainly due to the lack of availability of technological resources at my school. In my classroom currently, there are three student computers with pre-loaded reading software for the students to work on individually for fifteen minutes each day. My class does not have the opportunity to use the computer lab during the year. Also, the internet signal is weak and only district “approved” websites can be viewed. Many sites, such as YouTube, are blocked. Currently I use a mini video recorder or an Android tablet with a projector to display videos, books, and even practice pages to better engage my students. If I want present anything from the internet, I need to find a way to pre-load and save it outside of school.
Despite this lack of internet accessibility and technology resources, I decided to enroll in the program of Instructional Media. I took this course of study in hopes that I would learn ways of teaching that are engaging, diverse, and much needed. My class may be composed of “just” kindergarten students, but the foundation for learning needs to be set early. Therefore, I hope to gain a variety of new approaches to better my teaching while learning and understanding instructional media. I also hope to work with my school in researching grants for funding to get students technological resources that they can use to collaborate, create, and publish thoughts and ideas in unique and engaging ways.