I was six years old when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. At the time I think it must’ve had a lot to do with spending the day around awesome children and having the summers off. But the decision — really the identity — stuck with me as I grew older.
My journey to become a teacher has taken me to classrooms in a variety of settings. I volunteered in classrooms throughout high school and college, in multiple inner city and suburban schools. After graduating from my wonderful liberal arts college, I pursued a Masters in English and a Masters in Education. I then started teaching high school English at a private school near my hometown in the MidAtlantic. That school really invested in my growth as a teacher. I had a wonderfully collaborative department and benefited from a supportive administration that helped me to become an increasingly effective teacher of literature and writing for my students. The department advocated a writing program based on intensive drafting, peer review, and reflection, and I truly saw it improve my students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. I took on several administrative roles, including founding and heading the mentoring program and later becoming the department chair.
I learned so much about teaching from my students and colleagues at that small private school and truly loved being in the classroom. It was only when I discovered that I was expecting my first child that I began to feel I needed a break from the routine of the school day, and decided to take some time off from teaching. With the help of my supportive husband, I started teaching part-time when my daughter was a toddler. Since then I have been teaching writing at a community college, where I continue today.
Though I took a break from teaching for over a year, I never really left “the classroom.” I realized it remained a part of me. It is reflected in the way I interact with others and the way I see the world. I believe in challenging ourselves, remaining open to new ideas and information. I believe people are capable of change and growth through honest reflection on past mistakes. I believe hard work and an open mind can make a world of difference. I believe sometimes you just need to give something a try.
I use this blog to reflect on the questions and insights I have discovered through my time as a student and as a teacher. I look forward to reading your thoughts in response to mine.