I thought it would be fun to introduce myself to you the way I introduce myself to my students! This is part of the All About the Teacher PowerPoint I use at the beginning of each school year. I think that seeing photos of anyone grow up and age is fascinating, but especially if it’s your teacher!
Here I am at 4 years of age! I am the youngest of 8 children and my mother always made sure that I had a homemade cake for each of my birthdays.
(Thank you, Mom!)
Yes! I was a pom pom girl!
I grew up in Colorado and graduated from high school there, but, wanting to travel, I attended college in the Midwest. (For students, I give a little geography lesson here, showing a US map and, depending on the age group, asking geography questions. Never miss a teachable moment!)
Here’s me at graduation! I earned a BA in Economics and was awarded the honor of speaking at my college graduation!
I went to one job interview at a bank after graduating and decided that I didn’t want to be a businesswoman. Why did I major in economics?
So, I joined the Peace Corps to travel and to test out teaching and was placed at Maun Secondary School in Botswana. (For my student presentation, I include maps here and give another geography lesson.)
I fell in LOVE with teaching, and my career as an educator began in 1987!
When I finished my Peace Corps service, I went back to school and earned my masters in Teaching.
My next adventure was Oceana, in American Samoa, where I landed a position teaching 5th grade, and met my husband of 25 years.
(In this case, I will include the map. Before I found a job posting in American Samoa, I had no idea this US Territory even existed . It took me some time to find it on a map, a map hanging on a wall on which American Samoa appeared as a scant dot!)
Here are some pictures of me teaching secondary math in Africa.
Since then, I have lived and worked as an educator in the Pacific and on the US Mainland. In Fiji, I had the honor of helping expand a preschool program to a K5 and first grade, and I tutored a Korean Embassy Ambassador in conversational English.
Where in the world is
I have taught 5th grade through high school students in American Samoa, in the public and private sectors, working with young people who could barely speak English to those with perfect command of the language. In Colorado, I taught 4th through 7th grade students at a charter school where I also discovered my love of creating curriculum.
During my years teaching in Colorado, I authored numerous curricula for the Core Knowledge Foundation and presented this curricula state-wide and nationally. My aim in this creative process has always been to engage students while holding expectations high.
Most recently, I served as the school director and counselor at a private school here in American Samoa, where I have settled and call home. I loved my work as a principal and counselor and learned a lot, but after 8 years, I felt it was time for change and time to pass the baton.
So, I am out of schools after nearly 30 years (or after over 50 if you count my years as a student!), and I am also now an empty nester. After over 20 years of raising children, my husband and I recently sent our youngest child off to college. Believe you me, we are missing those piles of shoes at the door!
My next adventure? My next adventure is helping YOU. I know the demands placed on teachers. I have experienced the joys of the work and the exhaustion. It is my hope that the ideas shared in this blog and that the materials that I offer can lighten your load, provide some solutions, and even inspire.
Perhaps this timeline will be an inspiration for you to make your own All About the Teacher presentation to share your journey and snapshots along the way with your students. I know they would love it!