Tricia Apel

National Board Certified

Middle School Math Teacher

Statement of Beliefs

I believe that outstanding educators love to keep learning themselves.  Stagnation in education is terrifying!  I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.  When I entered college, I had no doubt that education was the field of study I wanted to pursue.  I have been working as a teacher for twenty-one years, and still love my job - probably because I still love learning about ways to improve my teaching.  I appreciate the mobility and transience of the teaching community in international schools.  I have had the opportunity to team with so many diverse people, and each year brings new co-workers from whom I can learn new techniques and skills.

One of the most powerful professional development opportunities I’ve had is the NBPTS National Board Certification.  I was on a team of four teachers who formed a peer conference and support group to pursue national board certification.  The process pushed me as an educator to examine my teaching methods and techniques, reflect on my practice, and adjust my instruction to maximize student learning. 

I believe that outstanding educators empower students with the skills to be 21st Century learners.  They integrate learning across subject areas to create more meaningful and real-world experiences for students.   They integrate technology to enhance conceptual understanding and to motivate students. 

I know that my classroom is composed of individual students with their own style of learning, their own strengths and their own distinct needs.  I vary my instruction to reach different modalities and differentiate to foster success in each individual student. 

I vary my instructional delivery by incorporating as many learning methods into a lesson as I can.  In a lesson that might span more than one class period, I typically use a mix of techniques, including some direct instruction.  Students in my classroom work with manipulatives to make abstract skills or concepts more concrete, participate in cooperative discussions, use multiple methods to derive a solution, practice skills individually and in cooperative teams, use technology to explore a concept, and extend their learning to other curricular areas and real-life applications.

I am in my 18th year as an international educator.  When my husband, Warren, and I first went overseas, we thought it would be a fun experience for a few years - we didn’t realize it would become our permanent way of life.  But we love the opportunities that international education provides us, both personally and professionally.