Even though I have taught grades kindergarten through 8th grade, I have a special place in my heart for middle school students and the brave souls who teach them. The best time in my career was teaching 8th grade language arts at an amazing middle school with a brilliant team of people who were passionate about the adolescents who walked into their classrooms every day. Due to my husband’s job change, I had to leave that wonderful place, which set me on course for a variety of educational endeavors. I haven’t climbed Mount Everest, but I have taught kindergarten students how to log into a computer with a username and password; prompted some sixth graders to get excited about diagramming sentences; and coaxed some reluctant readers to finish their first novel (even if I had to dress up as a Rock Star to do it, mullet wig and all).
My philosophy is that when you love what you do, it is contagious. When I get excited about what I am teaching, the kids get it. Both enthusiasm and apathy will spread, and I am just one of these people who loves positivity and a “can do” spirit. I use humor to diffuse tough situations, and I have planned many lessons down to a T. My best ones, however, were often rabbits that I pulled out of my hat at the last minute. (Thankfully rabbits reproduce quickly!) If I had access to TpT in my early days, I can only imagine how much better I those early lessons might have been!
I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Education from Rockford University and my Master's Degree in Education from Western Illinois University. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with my students whom I considered to be future world-changers. I always encouraged them to be great communicators and use proper grammar! My highest honor, however, is that some amazing people call me “Mom.” I am married to my best friend who supports all of my (crazy) endeavors. I am a published author and excited about the release of my first children’s book. Oh, and I also won a cake walk at my 5th grade school fair!
At the age of 8, I helped my aunt decorate her 3rd grade classroom. From that moment on, I was hooked and knew I would become a teacher one day. I love sharpened pencils, the smell of books, and the opportunity to be small a part of the journey of the young people I get to teach. Everyone in my family is a teacher from my parents, to aunts and uncles, and my two sisters. As a matter of fact, I married the son of a home ec teacher, which was a genius move on my part! (My husband can cook and sew!) Education is in my genes, and we laugh and cry together about the joys and challenges that come with the privilege of being called “Teacher.”
I am currently taking a break from the classroom to pursue my dream of being an author. I have just launched my first children’s book, “Mari” the story of a little caterpillar who got lost and searched high and low to find her home. She confronted bullies on the journey of discovering her true self to follow her dream, even when she didn’t understand it or believe it was possible. With her faithful companion, Ray, Mari seeks to find her true purpose and move forward into her destiny. The book is loosely based on my life, for I too was once lost in the bog.