My family, husband Max and two daughters, Kate and Becky, moved to Maine in the summer 0f 1988, from Columbia, Maryland. Previously, I had been an English Language Arts teacher, a supervising English Dept. Head, and a Writing Specialist in several schools in Baltimore County, MD.
I started teaching at Mary E. Taylor Middle School, now our Camden-R0ckport Middle School, in September of 1988. I was originally hired as a half time Horizons teacher (Writing 7 , History 8, and Ascent of Man elective 10) and a half time Language Arts teacher (Reading 7 and Writing 8). That employment was supposed to be for only one year!
Now, many years later, my position has evolved, as the Horizons program has changed, so that I am teaching advanced Language Arts to identified sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Also, I teach one other eighth grade LA class.
Teaching is both my career and my enthusiasm. I have been fortunate to have taught various students (grades 5-10) and “regular” and identified (G/T, ESL, Special Ed.), often in the same classes. I have taken courses in my field (University of North Carolina summer English program, Maine Humanities Council courses)and gone to workshops and conferences (state, regional, and national) in my craft.
Over the years, I have been involved in curriculum writing and development, grading, evaluation, and writing of student assessments (MEAs, NECAPs), mentoring and coaching of student teachers and other teachers, participating in MDE’s Common Core discussions, presenting at workshops and meetings, and teaching courses to other teachers.
However, students are my real motivation for teaching. The middle school “range of the strange and wonderful” has always appealed to me. Those students both challenge and inspire me. They compel me to keep changing, adapting, and growing as a teacher.
Also, as their teacher I want to model my passion and curiosity about words, ideas, and beliefs.
A constant in the Friesland household has been an Airedale. The picture above shows our present canine, Nelle (named after Harper Lee, the author of my favorite book To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, her actual first name is Nelle.)
Besides teaching, students, and Airedales, reading, "life" discussions, sarcasm, traveling, cooking, and being with family and friends are constants in my life.