Welcome to Mrs. Podres & Mrs. St. Claire's 1st Grade Site!
About Mrs. St. Claire
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from The College of Saint Rose in 2000. I began teaching in the fall of 2000 as a third grade teacher and a few years later, I earned my Master's Degree in Elementary Education. I taught second grade for one year, but the rest have been at third grade until this year. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to teach in the same district where I grew up and later graduated from.
I live in Clemons with my husband Mark, our three girls Angeline, Jane, and Molly, and our dog Camee. When I'm not in school, I love to spend time with my family. When I have time to myself, I enjoy scrapbooking and other paper crafting.
About Mrs. Podres
I received my Master's Degree in Special Education and Literacy in 2010 and began teaching in Granville that same year as the Special Education Teacher for 3rd grade. I was at GES until third grade was moved to MJT in 2012. Now I am very excited to teach first grade.
I live in Queensbury with my husband Jim, our cat Butters, our two dogs Kevin and Jayla, and our daughter Zoe. When I'm inside, I love to read, create crafty things, and spend time with Zoe. When I'm outside, I love to hike and snowboard.
About Special Education in First Grade
Special Education is often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Here at MJT, first grade is fortunate enough to have a Special Education Teacher available to support ALL students within the inclusion classroom. Inclusion classrooms are those that are made up of students with and without special education needs. The General Education Teachers and the Special Education Teachers work together to teach all of the students in the classroom and support their learning goals. Because of this, if a stranger walks into the classroom he or she should not be able to 'pick out' a special education student. All students are learning in the same environment with the support of two teachers.
We co-teach, which means that sometimes we take turns teaching subjects, or we both teach at the same time in small groups, or we both teach at the same time as a whole group (which means we interrupt each other in a friendly way). We absolutely love what we do and we believe that all of the students benefit greatly because they have two different teachers presenting material in different ways.
If you have any questions about inclusion classrooms, special education at MJT, co-teaching instructional practices, or your child's progress, please do not hesitate to contact us!