I am Lisa McKenney. I have been here at Vernon Elementary School since 1993 so not only have I had many of your older children but I am feeling pretty old myself! I have a wonderful husband, Mike and 2 pretty terrific children, Tyler (15) and Lauren (12).
I grew up in Bangor, Maine and attended John Bapst Memorial High School and then moved on on to The University of Maine at Orono. While at U.M.O (go Blackbears!) I majored in Early Childhood Environments and Elementary Education. I graduated in 1989 and began teaching 1st grade. I moved on to teach 2nd grade before relocating from Maine to Vermont when my husband got a job at Vermont Yankee. I began working at Vernon Elem. in 1993 in a 1st grade classroom and then moved with the class to 2nd grade and then again on to 3rd grade! I decided to stop moving at this point and have been teaching 3rd grade (with the exception of 1 year in kindergarten (what fun!) ever since. In 1998 I enrolled in the Keene State College masters program and received my masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2000.
I would describe my teaching style as structured and firm but with lots of fun and love built in. This goes along with my educational philosophy that children need to be comfortable in their environment, motivated to learn, and have their needs to be silly and to move met. I try to have lots of hands on learning opportunities, student input, as well as games and cooperative activities included in my instruction. I also like to have lots of student work and bright colorful centers in our room. I think my students would describe me as a person that gets to their level and makes learning fun and memorable (especially when I dress up as a book character or when I present songs that I have written in an effort to reinforce some aspect of learning). I like to teach with the question... “How would I want my own 2 children to be taught and treated?” in mind.
The units that I have enjoyed creating and teaching in 3rd grade include vertebrates, pilgrims, electricity/magnets, multicultural foods and celebrations, disasters, circulatory/respiratory systems, weather, and of course the one-room schoolhouse where I get to donne a long skirt, apron, and bonnet...all in the interest of the kiddos!
In my spare time I love to be outdoors in any kind of sport. When the weather is bad, I can be found indoors watching football, basketball, or baseball. I love the Dallas Cowboys, Boston Celtics, and Boston Red Sox. I also enjoy just hanging out with my family and good friends, reading, traveling, and I must say it...shopping!
I thoroughly enjoy being a mother. I am amazed at how my children have enhanced and enriched my life. Guess this love of children serves me well in my job. I am truly fortunate to have the job I do and love being able to effect as well as be around young minds.