When I was a little girl, my sister and I used to play all sorts of fun, make-believe games. Hotel (pretending you owned and managed a hotel), Store (pretending you owned and managed a store), Library (pretending you were a librarian), and Veterinarian (pretending you were a vet) were just some of the games we played. But the game that we played that affected my life the most was Teacher. You can see where I'm going, can't you?
My career path changed more times than I can count from when I was a girl. Even in college, I started out being a Communications major. Yet, something pulled me toward teaching. I'm not sure exactly what it was to begin with, but there are a lot of things that keep me enthralled with teaching now.
I earned my Bachelors degree in Middle School from the University of Georgia in December, 1990. I spent my last quarter at UGA student teaching sixth grade language arts at Clarke Middle School. I loved the school and teachers so much that I ended up finishing out the school year working in the office at CMS. The following year I started teaching sixth grade science.
I was a horrible teacher those first few years. I didn't know what I was doing and made lots of mistakes. By my third year, I was starting to figure things out. I really started enjoying what I was doing and felt comfortable with my students. I got more creative and excited about my job. This was a turning point in my career.
In the summer of 1997, I got my Gifted certification. Since then I have mostly taught gifted and high performing students in language arts. I have also spent a good deal of time collaborating with science and social studies teachers to plan enrichment and in-class differentiated activities for gifted sixth graders. I really enjoy the challenge of working with gifted students. They keep me on my toes and encourage me to be the best teacher I can be.
Right now I am finishing up my Masters degree in Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia. I should be done in Fall of 2002. Instructional technology has opened a lot of doors for me at Clarke Middle too. Last year I managed the Technology Resource Center in the afternoons. There are many challenges that face us with changing technology, but there are also many opportunities for improving teaching and learning through technology. I hope to use technology a lot this year with my students in the form of electronic portfolios, web design, multimedia, and word processing.
As for my personal life, I just became a mother in December, 2001. My son Rain is the light of my life. I decided to work half time this year so I could be with him in the afternoons. I think it is so important for parents to spend quality time with their children. I want Rain to have every opportunity to be the best person he can be, and I think that giving him plenty of attention and love (and lots of reading books together!) will foster his desire to attain excellence in all parts of his life.
I enjoy traveling very much and hope to visit Australia later in the school year. My husband and I went to Greece and Turkey last summer and have been to England, France, and the Netherlands. Traveling is a wonderful way to learn about the world. You can watch videos and read books about places, but it's not the same as actually going there.
Of course, as a language arts teacher, I love to read and write. Unfortunately, I don't have as much time to do these things as I used to. Science fiction and fantasy stories are my favorites. Most of my writings this year have been for web pages such as this one, but I really enjoy creative writing too.
That's me in a nutshell. As the school year goes on, I will add to this short description of myself. I am working on my autobiography (see Connections Project for more information) right now, so look for that in September or October.