Who or what inspired you to become a teacher?
Being a teacher is always something I was drawn to, even when I was a young child. When I was seven years old, I remember my dad bringing home two wooden desks that came from a one-room schoolhouse nearby. I used to set them up in the our backyard and made my younger sisters - who were only two and three years old at the time - act as my students.
I grew up in a small town, and when I left for college, everyone assumed that I was going to be a teacher! Looking back, they were right, but at the time, it made me want to pursue something completely different. My mom strongly encouraged me to take an education class my freshman year, which I did. The course involved helping out in a first grade classroom, and from the first day I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I was hooked!
What do you like most about being a teacher?
Helping students interact positively with one another is my favorite part of teaching. I believe the content we are teaching is extremely important, but helping students become confident, kind, independent learners and thinkers is the most rewarding for me. Watching students solve problems with each other and helping them to cooperate and teach each other is what makes me want to come to work every day.
How do you like to establish rapport with your students?
I like to establish rapport with students by having very clear expectations for how we treat each other in class. I have a Morning Meeting every morning, where students have time to greet one another, to listen to each other share things that are important, and to complete some kind of team building activity. I think this establishes safety and trust in the classroom and allows students to take risks and really be themselves.
When away from school, what interests and hobbies do you enjoy?
Away from school, I spend a lot of time with my dog. I like to take him to the park or on hikes. I also love going to the movies, reading books, and practicing yoga.