Phone: 707-526-4433 ext 315
Degrees and Certifications:
Ms. Diane Chira
When I look back, even to my earliest childhood days, I believe I was always meant to be a teacher. In my suburban neighborhood just north of New York City, (even though I am a left coaster now – New York is forever in my soul), I organized weekly kick ball games at the roundabout at the end of our street. I was then, and still am today, a voracious reader. My love of language, I think, stems from the musicality and powerful expressions - not found in English- of the Arabic and Yiddish dialects spoken by my parents, relatives, and grandparents.
A committed student, I loved learning but hated riding the school bus. My bicycle (no helmet in those days) accompanied me to school beginning in third grade all the way through my freshman year in high school- my flute case banging against my bike baskets. Unfortunately, I did not get any prizes for my dedication as our students do today (smile), but I stopped at the corner deli on my way home occasionally for pretzels, and as a special treat, a bologna sandwich with LOTS of extra mustard.
I’ve been teaching since 1985 when I started as a pre-school teacher in an urban community, Jamaica Plain, minutes from downtown Boston. Since then I’ve served students and families in MA, GA, and now CA at all levels of education from elementary through college. For my Master’s in Education project, I developed a multi-cultural education course that I later taught to teachers in training at Westfield State College - a proud and exciting venture for me.
Creative expression and the arts are a huge part of my life – I bring this, my passion for social emotional learning, high academic standards, and the belief that all children can learn to my classroom each day. When a dear friend’s son was diagnosed with a learning disability in the early 1990’s, I recognized that teaching these unique and creative brains (and the students who housed them) was an educational civil rights issue- I jumped on board.
My students (and their families) teach me as much as I teach them. Learning from all of you (and my wonderful colleagues) is a gift I cherish. Finally, these words from Mother Teresa, have, for several years now, captured the essence of my approach to teaching and learning: “We do not great things, but small things with great love.”