Write on Fight on’s Educator Spotlight features insights, reflections and best practices from classroom teachers and administrators.
Meet Mari Venturino. Mari is an elementary school teacher from San Diego, California. An active blogger and editor of the book Fueled by Love and Coffee: Real Stories by Real Teachers, Mari is a reflective force.
Check out her interview, visit her blog and you will certainly learn new reflective strategies to help improve your own practices. Enjoy!
Without goals, I just go aimlessly through the school year. I’m always working to be a better teacher, and I don’t want to settle for good enough.
Besides being a teacher Mari Venturino is…
…an avid reader who loves YA and nonfiction. I also enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and dog.
Where do you currently teach, what do you teach and for how long?
I teach 7th grade science and 8th grade AVID at Mar Vista Academy in San Diego, CA. The 2017-2018 school year is my 6th year of teaching.
What is your favorite lesson to teach and why?
I love our lessons and units on health and nutrition. These topics are so applicable to students’ lives, and line up with my science passions. We weave in nutrition within our chemistry and properties of matter units, and students are especially engaged as we’re analyzing nutrients and food groups.
If, for one day, you were in charge of your school what would you do?
We would have a fundatory (you’re required to have fun, and you’ll like it!) spirit day with school-wide activities and games. When we laugh and play together, our school community is happier!
If you could write one quote on the board for your students what would it be?
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.” -Aubrey Hepburn
On your website blog.mariventurino.com, you write about teaching strategies and best practices. How has writing helped you has a teacher?
Writing helps me reflect on what works best for my students and my school, and figure out what areas I need to work on. I write to share just as much as I write as a personal reflection tool. I love the conversations that spark up from blog posts, and I find myself constantly improving my teaching.
In a recent post, “2017-2018 School Year Goals”, you discuss your classroom goals for the upcoming school year. Why is goal setting so important for a teacher?
Without goals, I just go aimlessly through the school year. I’m always working to be a better teacher, and I don’t want to settle for good enough. One of my favorite twitter hashtag’s comes from Lisa Thuman’s keynote, #onenewthing. Instead of trying all the things at one time, just focus on trying #onenewthing.
One of your goals for the 2017-2018 school year was to build relationships with your students first. Why is building relationships so vital for teaching and learning?
In our classrooms, the most important thing is to build relationships with our students. When we form trust and mutual respect, we build empathy and work better together. Our collaboration and cooperation improves, and all of us are willing to take more risks. Just as I need to get to know each of my students, they need opportunities to get to know me.
You recently published your first book, Fueled by Love and Coffee: Real Stories Written by Real Teachers. All proceeds of the book will be donated to classrooms and teachers ( which is totally awesome!). Why is it so important for teachers to share their stories?
I’ve seen too many teachers say “I’m just a teacher” when I ask them to share something they’ve done in their classroom, whether on social media or in person. My goal is to elevate the ordinary teachers to share the incredible things they’re doing. It’s an honor to take the lead on this project, and work to get more teachers’ voices heard. You can read more about the project here, and buy your copy of the book on Amazon.
Mari can be found at…
Twitter & Instagram: @MsVenturino
Do you know an awesome educator dedicated to inspiring and teaching others?
If so, please consider nominating them to be featured on Write on Fight on’s Teacher Spotlight Series. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.