About The Teacher
It is my pleasure to welcome you and your child to First Grade! My name is Colleen Gentry, and I will be your child’s 1st grade teacher this school year. I wanted to tell you a bit about myself and my teaching philosophy. This year I will begin my 20th year at Esperanza Elementary School. I taught Kindergarten for 2 years and am ready to start my 18th year teaching First Grade!
I was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and lived there until moving to Arizona in 1985. I attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School, McClintock High School, ASU (for two very hot years) and then graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 2000. While at NAU I met my husband Chad. We got married in June 2003. We have been blessed with three amazing munchies! Chad and I were so happy to have our two oldest here at Esperanza from Kindergarten to 5th grade. This year our son Curren and our daughter Cali will be Sophmores at Campo Verde HS in Gilbert. We also have a spunky, loving little munchie named Caiya who will be in third grade at Esperanza this year! We have a furry little nugget at home as well. His name is Slater and he is a 7 week old German Shepherd/Husky mix (we think). As a family we enjoy watching sports, anything beach related and hanging out with each other. Our family is our biggest blessing!
I became a teacher because I absolutely love children. I was lucky enough to grow up in a very large family and have been surrounded by children my whole life. I appreciate children for their love of life and learning. I believe in a hands on approach to teaching. Every classroom presents a unique community of learners that varies not only in abilities, but also in learning styles. My role as a teacher is to give children the tools with which to cultivate their own gardens of knowledge. To accomplish this goal, I will teach to the needs of each child so that all learners can feel capable and successful. I will present curriculum that involves the interests of the children and makes learning relevant to life. I will incorporate STEM projects, integrated units, projects, group work, individual work, and hands-on-learning in order to make children active learners. I will tie learning into the world community to help children become caring and active members of society. Finally, I will keep you as a parent informed and involved at all times.
As a member of our Esperanza S.H.A.R.K. community, your child will be taught how to be a Safe Honest And Respectful Kid. As a classroom community we will practice the pillars of good character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship).
I look forward to getting to know you and your child this school year. Please know that should you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact me at any time! Here’s to a great year in First Grade!