Who is Ms. Houghton?

… I am! I’m Shannon Houghton, an energetic, passionate, intense gifted/talented teacher in the Federal Way School District.

**The information presented on this blog in no way reflects my employer’s opinion, although I’d love to know our school board’s position on Hot Cheetos.**

My philosophy

I believe all students have the right to a rigorous and relevant education that will prepare them to do what they love for the rest of their lives. Families and community members need to join us in our journey. We as educators need to focus on creating a hopeful, supportive environment for our students feel safe to take risks and challenge themselves.

Teachers need to fight stagnance, negativity, and prejudice. We need to support each other and push each other to go deeper in our practice. We need to read. We need to stop making excuses.

My story

I was born and raised in Metro Detroit, Michigan, where I should have picked up on the signs that I was destined to be an educator. The elaborate book check-out system in my playroom, the endless instruction of my American Girl dolls using surplused basals from my elementary school…

But I didn’t pick up on the signs. And so I attended a magnet math and science high school, not because I saw a future as a chemist, but because I knew I’d have the best teachers who would help me pull myself out of my math funk. And because I love math and science nerds the best. My experience with gifted programs at the secondary level gave me hope that public schools can and should serve our gifted and talented learners.

I attended Michigan State University’s Honors College, studying journalism and theater. I wanted to educate the public on news and pressing social problems in their communities. I was a middling reporter at best, so I joined AmeriCorps to serve for a year in a Federal Way school, thus preparing me to be a better education reporter.

But I couldn’t leave the classroom. So I got my master’s through Seattle University and stayed in Federal Way. In 2011 I switched from a gen ed classroom to a 2/3 Gifted/Talented class. I’m proud that our gifted class reflects our school’s population. One of the speediest ways to get me all lathered up is to question, “But is your class REALLY gifted?” ABSOLUTELY. I invite you to join us any day to experience my students’ brilliance.

Although I love reading and dream of what life would be like as a librarian, my main passions involve advocating for full integration of literature with math and getting people to stop being apprehensive of math and science. I hope to get my PhD in gifted education or math instruction at either Columbia or Stanford.

My face

My kids love videos. Although I find my voice irritating, I aim to please. Here are some videos I’ve made for teachers, families, and students.

My online presence

Twitter: @MsHoughton
Facebook: Ms. Houghton’s Class 
YouTube: MizHoughton
GoodReads: Shannon Houghton
E-mail: shoughto [at] p12fwps [dot] org
Phone: 254-945-4400

One thought on “Who is Ms. Houghton?”

  1. Hi Shannon~
    I was searching for some info about multiage classrooms and came across your website on Pinterest! I was wondering if you could give me any ideas or info about a 2/3 grade split. I am at a new charter school in an Urban area and really scared! My math cirriculum is EnVision Math and not sure if I have to teach both together? I am trying to get in touch with a teacher who can help me do this the most effective way. Any thoughts?
    Jackie Botsford
    Flint, Michigan

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