Meet the Teacher 2013

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Maria, I'm 5'1" and I'm left-handed.  For those of you who have been following along, you already know my favorite food is lobster, and that I love to cook, teach writing, and play classroom games right along my ELL kiddos. Want to dig a little deeper?

I was honored by these three lovely ladies: Dawn at Funds of KnowledgeMelissa from See Bean Teach, and Sharon from Animal Crackers and Apple Juice with the Liebster Award (three!! Thank you!) so I thought I'd mix Blog Hoppin's Meet the Teacher and the Liebster Award questions together to give you a sense of who I really am.


  • How/when did you decide to be a teacher?
    • Long story.  Both my parents are in education, and they always said I needed to get a certification "just to fall back on." I didn't.  I minored in French, though, and when I was subbing after college, the school I was in hired me to teach French.  I loved it (duh, it's in my blood!)  I pursued alternate route certification in French and ESL, then continued on to get my Master's in ESL.
  •  How did you come up with your blog name?
    • I needed something that represented ESL, since I'm not a grade level teacher.  E-S-L...Extra Special Learners was taken, Everyone Strives to Learn sounded weird, so I thought I'd just make the lowercase "de" a thing!

  • What is your favorite children's book?
    • Hands down, Fly High Fly Low by Don Freeman.  Or Norman the Doorman by Don Freeman.  I could be stuck on an island with either of those and be happy! TPT pack coming soon!
  • Do you favor a teaching strategy in a certain subject? Why? 
    • I support the ESL best practice that says students should read, write, listen and speak in every lesson, in every period.  Having that within your objectives ensures that no student remains stuck at a desk and leaves room for all intelligences. 
  • What is the best way that you give yourself a break during the school day?
    • I like to watch Ellen DeGeneres clips on youtube.  Have you seen this one? Makes me laugh every time.

  • Why did you begin to blog/sell on TPT? 
    • I started selling on TPT at the urging of my friend Halle, with whom I am so fortunate to work.  Let me tell you, she is an inspiration- I pushed in to her class when she was doing Daily 5 and was astounded by her classroom management and creativity.  Don't even get me started on her Christmas activities.  I thought I'd died and gone to the North Pole.  I thought, if I can do anything even half as good as she can I'll be on my way.   
    • I started blogging because I had so much to say about ESL and no where to say it! 
  • What color scheme are you using in your classroom? 
    • You mean, besides Ladybug's Teacher Files?  Bright colors.  Pink, lime green, yellow, orange...those are my primary colors this year.   I have this huge wall to decorate! I need to make better use of it than I did last year.  Any suggestions?

  • What do you do outside of teaching for fun?
    • I cook! I read lots of food blogs and then I watch Ina and make what she makes and it relaxes me.  
    • In the summer I try to spend time at the beach.
    • I take out 3 books a week in the summer from the library and read all 3 before returning them. It's a tradition I've had since high school. I start the week school gets out and end on Labor Day weekend.
    • I hang out with my husband- he's pretty awesome.  We got married in November of 2011. 

  • What is your best advice to give to a new teacher?
    • Make friends with the secretaries and the custodians- they run the school and you never know when you will need them. 
Many thanks to Dawn, Sharon, and Melissa for nominating me for the Liebster Award! Head over to Blog Hoppin' to meet some new teachers!


  1. Well, I'm blushing now :)

    It's no secret that I think everything you do is wonderful and I love what an advocate you are for your students. Now when you become a principal you need to hire me :)

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  2. Beautiful wedding pictures! I love your flowers for your wedding!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Follow me on Facebook

  3. I recognize that book from Summer School! Three books a week? That is great! I have definitely up'ed my reading over the summer, but you have me beat! Ellen DeGeneres always puts me in a good mood too. Everything she does is hilarious.

    Eclectic Educating


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