Teaching: 27 years
At ALBA: 10 years
Why did I want to become a teacher? I loved playing school and teaching my younger friends to read. I couldn't imagine any other career being nearly as wonderful as teaching! I love kids, love working with kids, and I can connect with them pretty easily. I started planning to be a teacher in the first grade, and although I briefly considered ballet dancer (hated the lessons!), flight attendant (my mom said I was too short), and veterinarian (I was once bitten on the nose by a dachshund- which takes some doing- and my mom said that it happens to veterinarians sometimes. I always loved school and did well in it.
Do I enjoy teaching? Absolutely!
How do I feel about teaching at ALBA? I would have never guessed that IO would love it so much. I had planned to be a classroom teacher for 3rd or 4th graders with disabilities. I was a little scared when I found out about ALBA, but realized my first day that the kids here are terrific- they just made a mistake. And who doesn't make mistakes in life!
How do you see the role of the teacher in the learning process? Ideally, the teacher is a guide, a mentor, and a coach. I know what skills students will have to learn in a given school year and I plan the instructional time accordingly. I mentor kids who are searching for their own path by showing them options and by personalizing instruction when it's needed. And I am a coach in that I encourage students to try and to do their best- and I'm cheering for them as they succeed.
How did you come up with your method of teaching? I had excellent advice from a college professor (whom I disliked intensely). He asked that the future teachers in my class 'go out there and be the teacher you wish you had when you were in school'.
Do you focus on strengths or weaknesses? Strengths, for sure. I have to identify both strengths and weaknesses, but when I focus on strengths, I help make students aware of how much they already know, which makes it easier for them to try the things that are harder.
What do you think of ALBA? There is a lot of good and powerful work being done here. I feel fortunate to be part of a diverse team with a single focus- helping our students!
Would I like to teach a different subject? Sometimes, I think fondly on my years as an elementary school teacher. I loved doing little art projects and singing silly songs with my first graders. And teaching 4th/5th was a lot of fun because the kids were so independent. Most days, I wouldn't trade my position for anything!
Hobbies, etc: needle crafts (sewing, embroidery, crochet), painting ceramics, reading- all the time!, cooking, medieval reenactment, tea parties, and more!
He who opens a school door closes a prison.