4-28-2017 – Corona – Meet Renee Cameron! She teaches first grade at Prado View Elementary.
Renee comes from a family of educators. Her father was an educator and her biggest influence. She says he instilled the idea that education was not only important but noble.
“It has become the family business so to speak,” says Renee, “My brother is a teacher in Riverside and my sister is a teacher at Foothill.”
Her husband is the Assistant Principal at Santiago High and her brother-in-law is the Assistant Principal at Norco. One of her sons and daughters-in-law teach and coach in Texas. Her second son is a substitute teacher and is in the process of earning his teaching credential.
“Teaching is a wonderful and rewarding profession,” she says, “It is hard work but I get the opportunity to affect lives in the students I have.”
Renee has been teaching for 16 years. She begun her career in the Alvord USD and then moved to Corona-Norco USD where she has taught first grade and kindergarten for over 10 years.
“It was a growing experience when I was transferred to Parkridge teaching kindergarten for four years,” she says, “The people I worked with and the students will forever be in my heart. This past year, I had the opportunity to go back to Prado View teaching first grade. It is where I call home and I am very blessed to be part of this family once again.”
Renee earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton. Last October, she graduated from National University with a Master of Arts in Best Practices in Teaching.
Her favorite part about being a teacher is being able to see her students grow and progress every day.
“All children are so different and unique with abilities that surprise me all the time,” she says, “They are loving, caring, inspiring, encouraging, motivating, and funny little people that put a smile on my face every day. Every day is different!”
Her teaching philosophy begins where her students have a safe learning environment.
“My classroom is a caring community where children are free to speak their mind and blossom and grow,” she says, “It is important to me that my students are invited to share their ideas and take risks.”
Renee believes there are elements that are conducive to learning; (1) Students must have access to hands-on activities, (2) students that are engaged are active learners and problem solvers, (3) students should be able to have choices and let their curiosity direct their learning, and (4) students need the opportunity to practice skills in a safe environment.
“I truly believe that teaching is evolutionary and that over time my educational philosophy may change,” she says, “And that’s okay, that just means that I have grown.”
A typical day for Renee begins with smiling students entering her classroom greeted with a handshake, a high-five, or a hug.
“It is a way of greeting my students and letting them know that I am so happy they are there,” she says, “This year, we were fortunate enough to have training in the Capturing Kids Heart program.”
Capturing Kids Heart encourages her students to build relationships through a social contract, affirmations and learning how to problem solve among themselves.
“I believe an atmosphere where students connect and take responsibility for their emotions and actions and become partners in resolving the conflict is very important for my students.”
The day continues with a morning meeting, morning work, center time, and guided reading.
Guided reading is one of her favorite subjects to teach. She is able to meet with small groups of students and really dive into reading strategies that will help them become better readers.
“Of course center time is a favorite,” she says, “You’ll see lots of engaged students who are excited about using hands-on activities while learning with others.”
Renee also loves math and integrates technology into her classroom.
“Using technology in my classroom has only enhanced my students learning,” she says, “As they grow and become successful, it only encourages me to continue to find more ways in adding technology to support their learning.”
Her favorite quote is one from Dr. Seuss; “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
“This is one of my favorite quotes and I write this quote in my student’s memory book every year,” she says, “It is something that all ages can do and that is to be a lifelong learner. My students are just starting their academic career and if I can plant the seed of how important and fun learning is, then they can do anything they put their minds to.”
On her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family. She has two sons and one daughter.
“Both my sons were married last year, yes, two in one year, and we have a little girl that has Down Syndrome. Kylie is 8-years-old and we are blessed to be her parents,” says Renee, “Her smile is contagious and her hugs are amazing. She has touched so many lives and continues to teach others that love is acceptance. Kylie rocks the extra chromosome!”
Renee’s biggest goal for 2017 is to continue growing as a teacher.
“Teaching has been so rewarding,” says Renee, “I am blessed to be able to touch the hearts and minds of our youth and hopefully I am able to inspire the love of learning into my students as much as they have inspired me. God has truly blessed me and I owe everything to Him.”