Number of years taught: 11
Subjects/Grades Taught: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades Reading, English, and Science
Favorite Band: I love all music so this one is hard. If I were to narrow it down to my top five they would be (in no particular order): REO Speedwagon, Matchbox 20, Def Leppard, Journey, and Air Supply
Who would play you in a movie? If I were able to choose the actress, I would choose Kate Hudson. Hudson possesses several character- istics I admire. She is personable, funny, and passionate about her work. She is also a writer, and is actively involved in a non-profit organization that focuses on enhanc- ing the education of youth.
What is your favorite book? I am not sure I have a favorite book... I read EVERYTHING. I love all books; big books, small books, red books, blue books... If forced to choose just one, I would probably go with Harry Potter.
Favorite podcast or ted-talk? I rarely have time to listen to pod- casts, but when I do, I listen to “Talk with Teachers”.
If you had to write a 140 character tweet that describes you what would it say? Me: “Why am I SO exhausted all the time?”Also me: “runs to daughter’s college, remodels house, teaches grandma to Facetime, never leaves school EVER, checks #WebMD.”
Personal motto or mantra: I got this.
If you knew me better you’d know I... have been married for over twenty years, have a daughter in college, come from a very large close-knit family, prefer small groups over large crowds, and tend to laugh when people are taking things too serious. When I get nervous, I talk incessantly, and use humor to diffuse uncomfortable situations.
Why did you decide to become a teacher? When I decided to become a teacher, it was for the same reason most teachers choose this profession; I love children, and I wanted to make a positive impact on future generations. Looking back, those simple reasons seem so insignificant and underwhelming when compared to the reasons I choose to stay in this profession. Teaching is an extremely challenging, intellectually demanding, collectively exhausting, and and emotionally rewarding career; the toughest job you’ll ever love. I love my students’ eager participation, watching their personalities develop, and knowing I played a role in that. I love the incredible friend- ships I make throughout the community every year, and I love hear- ing from former students who tell me how much they learned from and loved my class. I love being a part of a profession I am passionate about, and in which I never stop learning. Regardless of how “cliché” it may sound, watching a student “get it” (especially after some difficulty), is one of the most satisfying feelings a teacher will ever experience.
What do you do differently that makes learning fun and/or helps students learn more effectively? I am fortunate enough to teach in a district that employs the best teach- ing professionals in the state of Oklahoma, and I take advantage of every opportunity to learn extraordinary strategies from these incredible professionals. Everything I do to make learning fun and help students learn more effectively are components I have collected based off observations of my colleagues. I create lessons that are sensitive to my students’ needs, abilities, learn- ing styles, and unique individuality. I get to know my students, laugh and joke with them, and build a positive rapport with their families to establish a climate of reciprocated respect. I capitalize on student interests while scaffolding rigor and high expectations with motivation and humor, and applaud my students’ efforts with individualized and specific positive reinforcement. I enrich my curriculum by teaching sign language, and use team-building activities to teach the importance of collaboration. However, above everything I do, the most important thing I do every day is to make sure my students know they are loved.