Middle School - Social Studies
Mrs. Maria Howard
I have been a teacher at Saint Joseph Regional Elementary for a total of 15 years: 10 years as a fifth grade teacher, and 5 years as a Middle School teacher. In addition to teaching Social Studies (World History, U.S. History I and II), I also teach 8th grade Religion (Church History) and 5th grade math. Previously, I taught Religious Education for 2 years at Saint Vincent DePaul School. I also taught as a substitute at Saint Vincent and Hamilton Township Public Schools. I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Social Sciences/History through Thomas Edison State University. I hold certifications in both Elementary Education and Social Studies (K-12). Moreover, I attend numerous workshops throughout the year. I have just completed a Teacher-Leader mini-course through Penn Literacy Network on formative assessments. I was also a lead teacher for 5th and 6th grades for the restructuring of the diocese’s Social Studies curriculum for the past two years. Furthermore, I am certified in Levels I, II, and III Religious Education.
Teaching Style/Philosophy/Interesting Things I Do In the Classroom
I believe that it is very important to know the past in order to understand the present, and even the future. So many themes occur over and over in history. The children gain great insight into social behavior also. My class is structured so the children know what to expect and to limit disruptive behavior. Individual, partner, and group work are utilized in the classroom. Current news is also discussed to give the children a broader understanding of life. Question and answer, discussions, and debates are used. Students analyze document-based questions in order to practice and increase their critical thinking skills. I have guest speakers come in, when possible, to give a first-hand experience to the students. My hope is that students will come to see history as a living, ongoing process and to help them become involved citizens in our world.
What I Like Most About St. Joseph Regional School
Saint Joseph Regional School has a caring group of teachers who are always willing to support a fellow teacher. The principal is very supportive to the staff. The parents care about the entire education of their children- not just academically. I also like the fact that the school is small, so most people know one another. I also love that I can relate so many events that occur in history to religion. I am glad I have the opportunity to have religious discussions with the students that pertain to historical events.
Why I Would Recommend St. Joseph Regional School
The school has a community that cares about the welfare of each child. Everyone helps one another. In addition, Saint Joseph Regional School is a challenging school academically, which will prepare them for high school and college.
Interests Outside of Teaching/Personal Life
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family; although they are scattered now in Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Germany! In addition, I love traveling, reading, and being amused by the antics of my two Rottweilers, Apollo and Athena. I love teaching, and am so happy to be at Saint Joseph. It is like a second home to me. It has been phenomenal to teach history to the upper grades and relate that knowledge to current day. I also enjoy moderating lively discussions of current events in the classroom!
B.A. Social Sciences/History Thomas Edison State College
K-5 Elementary Education
K-12 Social Studies Education
Levels I, II, III Religious Certification
Years of Teaching Experience: 17
Years With St. Joseph Regional School: 15