Phone: 951-294-6385 e. 3043
Degrees and Certifications:
BA in Liberal Studies 1984- San Diego Sate University CA Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential 1985- San Diego Sate University MA Humanities (History/Philosophy focus) 2012-California State University, Dominguez Hills Google Certified Educator Levels 1 & 2. Google Certified Trainer
Ms. Michele Osinski
Most importantly, I am the extremely proud mom of two amazing adult children: Keegan Rae (30) and Brendan Robert (26). They are both graduates of Great Oak High School and survived having me for their 5th grade teacher.
Keegan is a librarian on the Divinity floor of the Heard Library at Vanderbilt University. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Theology from Point Loma Nazarene University and then received her Master Degree in Library and Information Science from University of Washington. She is now pursuing her second Master’s Degree in Theology. Like me, she will always be in school, it seems. Even though she said she’d “never be a teacher” - she surely is educating and helping others to learn. She is a voracious reader and extremely gifted writer. She is currently an editor for the ATLA journal, writes articles for several other blogs and publications, and is featured on a few theology-related podcasts. She lives in her OWN home with my two grandpugs: Ebenezer and Florence (Eb and Flo). Her significant other, Jim, is on his way to Tallahassee in a few weeks to begin his PhD program in Theology.
Brendan just moved to Hawaii this past July 23rd to become a Project Manager on the HART monorail system that will connect Kapolei to Pearl Harbor to Ala Moana Center/Waikiki. Hopefully, for the hearts of his mama and his significant other of 5 years, this project will wrap up and he’ll be back stateside in January. In the meantime, both Panayiota (his Greek goddess) and I will take trips to visit. Being able to “bank” his salary for these 6 months (his housing, transportation, food, and 3 round-trip tickets for Panayiota are all covered by his company!) was just too good of an opportunity to pass up: a 6-month paid “vacation”! In Brendan’s free time, he likes to rock/wall climb (he is really excited about all of the natural bouldering opportunities in Hawaii), play basketball and tennis, and play any of the multitude of new-generation board games that are being stored in my garage.
Enough of my proud-parent babble….
I’ve been teaching since 1985 (yep, that’s A LONG TIME!) 97% of those years have been with 5th graders; it’s obvious that I adore these “tweens” and all of the curiosity, laughter, and enthusiasm that comes with them. I love reading and writing, history, and integrating technology into our lives. I also love teaching math; I wasn’t a strong math student, but I think that makes me a better math teacher as I understand that not everyone gets it the first time or the same way. The never-ending questioning of science excites me, and attacking those inquiries with my students invigorates me. All this to say that although I’ve always felt that I could teach middle or high school students, I would wilt in a classroom in which I taught the same subject over and over. In 5th grade, every day is new… every HOUR is new.
During those hours, my most important job is to be sure that each student feels safe and valued within our community. I will often say, “None of us is as smart as all of us,” truly believing that everyone has a talent or strength to contribute to our class as a whole or smaller groups as we work together to learn together.
I believe in the value of fun, laughter, and play in the classroom. Play is the first mode of learning for young children, and continues to be a motivator throughout our lives. There is plenty of scholarly research upholding the benefits of fun and laughter in the learning process. We truly learn deeper concepts when we are in the midst of joyful activities. My deepest desire is that my students are excited to come to school every day, fearing that they might miss learning something and having fun! Creating learning is always more fun than consuming it!
It is also my desire that my students’ parents feel welcome in our classroom and know their value in supporting their children. Your children are at an age in which they will most likely aim to stretch a lot of boundaries; communication will be very important as we (parents, students, and teachers) work TOGETHER to complete a successful 5th grade year.
My free time is filled with reading, learning, listening to music, and crafting. As of this writing, my main hobbies are Bible journaling, handlettering, following basketball, and “Happy Planning” (decorating planners to encourage completing needed tasks as well as serving as a memory book). You will probably see my “planning” hobby rubbing off on the students as we use their “Reminder Binders” as a creative experience as well as an organizational tool.
I am a Google-Certified Educator and Trainer, and one of 60 educators, world-wide, who have been chosen to assist the Google Earth team in creating support materials for educators and students. As such, I do a bit of traveling to help support other teachers in their desires to utilize educational technology in more meaningful ways. Rarely will these trainings take me away from the classroom, but if/when they do, please know that I leave very specific plans for our guest teachers to follow; my days missed do not equal missed days of instruction!
Yes, I mentioned above that I love to write. I think you’ve experienced that by now. I doubt that our new webmasters anticipated that my “About Me” section would become a short chapter book. In any case, know that I look forward to developing a deep relationship with your child, and with you. We are all in this together!