Grades 1-3 are the years that the students are learning to read, write, and do math quickly. They are excited to be learning at such a very fast pace and to be able to see what they can do. We use many ways to help students achieve success in these areas. In reading and spelling we use phonics, and brain based ECRI. This method uses verbal response, sight, and repetition along with comprehension, and other basic skills. People are often astounded on how fast students learn to spell and read.
In science, we learn about the world God has given us and in Social Studies we learn about the ways of life in our country and lands beyond our country’s borders.
As we go through the day our classroom is a Christ centered room where we invite Him into our lives every day. He is the one that keeps our room being a happy place to do our work, and learn how to grow on our journey with Him.
My name is Ardis Baker and I’m the second of two children. I was born in Ransom, KS. Through the years my parents, brother and I moved on to Lincoln, NE, Boulder, CO and then to Bemidji, MN. My brother and I always attended Christian schools wherever we lived. In eighth grade I went to a one room school. It was a different but fun experience. I continued my education at Maplewood Academy in Hutchinson, MN for grades 9-12. In the summers during that time is when I first learned of my love for teaching, working as an instructor and counselor at North Star Camp.
It was at Union College in Lincoln NE that I continued my education and received my BS in Elementary Education with minors in Art/Music and Social Science. I received certification to teach grades 1-8 for all subjects, and an additional certification for grades 1-10 Bible, also history, music, and art.
My first teaching experience was in Bishop, CA where I taught grades 1-4 for two years, reading for grades 5 and 6 grades, and gymnastics for grades 1-8. Since then, I have taught at Long Beach, CA, Reno, NV, and now Simi Valley.
During my summers, I worked on my Professional Certificate completing it in 2001. I have taken most of my classes at Pacific Union College in Angwin, CA. and La Sierra University in Riverside, CA. I just finished my recertification this last summer and it is complete until 2021. I have taught for thirty-five plus years and learn new things every year. I love my kids and enjoy the times they get in touch with me, even years later. Every summer and during the school year I take classes to keep updated on curriculum and methods. I enjoy seeing my students grow as a student and as a person.
My favorite grades to teach have always been the lower grades. My favorite areas are reading and math. I love to see students grow in learning and gain understanding in new ways. In the last few years I have added the methods from the ECRI class I took in Utah and a following course in West Covina, CA. I love how the brain based curriculum meets the student’s needs. ECRI stands for Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction. It is a special class developed to prevent failure. Using many of the senses, the course helps students learn quickly and successfully. Phonics is important in our classroom and creativity in writing is encouraged for projects and reports as the student develops the skills needed.
I love music. I have learned to play piano by ear although I also use written music for guitar and voice. I have enjoyed being assistant director for our choir and work with Mr. Dave Watkins. We pray that we glorify God with all that we do in each performance we take part in.
In my spare time, you might find me going to the beach, shopping at the mall, or reading a good book. I love to read about other places, people and times in history. Some of the things I enjoy are going to conventions, classes, and seminars. My special interests are in brain based learning and how I can help students learn in many ways. Our curriculum and our classes are centered around life with Christ as our leader. He is our guide as we go through each day.
My husband Bart, passed away in February 2020. My sons Justin and James attended all four years at Newbury Park Adventist Academy. Justin graduated from La Sierra University (June, 2008) and works as a lead at Disneyland. James attended Pacific Union College his Freshman year, then joined the Marines in September 2005. In September of 2009 he started work on his Bio-Chem. Engineering degree. He graduated in 2012 and is now working at Amgen in Newbury Park, CA.
I have enjoyed teaching at Adventist Education Simi Valley Elementary, and I look forward to teaching many more years as the Lord blesses our school, and it continues to grow.