My name is Maria Francis and I am a licensed teacher in the state of North Carolina. Recently, I completed the Grounded Module 1 teaching training in Charlotte, NC and loved every minute of it! I am excited to see how to bring this experience into my career and where it can take me. I love children and believe that yoga can really open the minds of our young leaders. I hope to bring the joy and peace that yoga has brought to me into the lives of our young.
Professionally, I taught in Mecklenburg County for two years and worked in Gaston County at Costner Elementary this current school year. I also coach cheerleading at a local private high school and tutor children of all ages throughout the year.
I am a 2005 graduate of North Carolina State University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in English Rhetoric. Upon graduation, I took an interim position as a kindergarten assistant at St. Mathew’s Catholic School. When that position ended, I began working in finance at Maersk Inc. and Electrolux. However, I still had a desire to teach and went back to school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte beginning in 2010. I received my Masters of Teaching in May of 2013.
I am currently working as a fourth grade teacher in Gaston County at Costner Elementary in Dallas, NC. Unlike prior teaching positions, I am teaching all subject matters in a rural setting to 22 students, including four Exceptional Children students and two English as Second Language students. Though not uncommon, my students range in abilities academically which has resulted in the implementation of diverse teaching approaches. These include flex grouping, Australian Mathematics Trust practices, and data driven instruction. The results of mandated district assessments and analysis of Renaissance Learning test results have shown that my students have grown an average of 1.2 years during this school year. Preliminary EOG scores indicated that 60% of them were proficient in reading and math. In addition to my role as a teacher, I also serve as the chair of the Vertical Planning Committee, which aims to align learning among grade levels in an effort to build a solid foundation of Common Core Standards.
Prior to the 2014-2015 school year, I taught at in Mecklenburg County at Merry Oaks International Academy Elementary in Charlotte, NC for two years. During the 2012-2013 school year, I co-taught literacy and social studies to 30 students in first grade. I moved to third grade for the 2013-2014 school year. I teach literacy to a total of 46 students who range in academic ability. My homeroom was the third grade Exceptional Children inclusion room. During my time at Merry Oaks, I learned to create and implement dynamic and interactive lessons that engaged students in higher order thinking, execute classroom management to ensure a cooperative and successful learning environment and participated in team planning that allowed for diverse teaching approaches. I was trained to administer Reading 3D, Read to Achieve and MAP testing. My experience in a Title 1 school has also given me more insight into the struggles that our youth can face and how it affects them academically, emotionally, and socially.