Began at Teachwell:
Why did you choose this field?
When I was young, writing was a way for me to express myself and create. I loved taking my inner thoughts and putting them on paper in a way that allowed me to express myself, but still veil my personal thoughts. Reading allowed me to escape to new worlds and learn things that I couldn't have imagined I needed to know. I was always more in love with writing but understood the value of seeing another person's thoughts on paper. At some point during my life-long relationship with words, I discovered how fulfilling it is to tell my story. I realized how powerful words really are. That experience, coupled with my desire to work with teens, left teaching to be the only profession that made sense! I hope to encourage my students to tell their stories too and to believe that they are important and have something to share with others.
What or who most inspires you?
My inspiration comes from a few different places. First, my children have the ability to overcome any struggle they face and consistently show me how to manage crisis with grace. Second, my students are a testament to persistence and that is inspirational as well! Watching youth grit through the hard stuff is a powerful thing to witness and motivates me to be my best for them every day. Lastly, some of my closest relationships are with educators who advocate for and care about their students beyond what I've ever seen. They are the group of people that inspire me to teach and stand firm though the struggles.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I have always loved working with at-risk youth and this opportunity allows me to work with the kids that I am most motivated to serve. The other great thing about choosing Teachwell is the staff collaboration and the confidence I have knowing we are all here to support each other in serving our students.
What keeps you motivated?
My motivation comes from knowing that there is something unique inside all of the kids I work with, and my desire for them to see that within themselves. Also, it's important for me to live in a way that gives my children the courage to run toward the place they are called to be and to not be afraid of obstacles that may get in their way.
How do you hope to make a difference?
Because of our direct interaction with students over a consistent period of time, teachers have the gift of being able to educate to more than what we find in a curriculum. When we extend compassion, we teach it. When we show patience, our students learn what it looks like to be patient. When we persevere on bad days and acknowledge that we aren't perfect, we teach our students how to love themselves and hopefully give them some freedom knowing that they don't have to be perfect either. All of that being said, I hope to make a difference by simply showing up and caring about who my students are. The changes that occur deep within kids when they know someone sees them are more valuable than any nugget of grammar that sticks.
Goals for the future?
Good question! I hope to earn my Masters in Education very soon. Other than that, to find balance in the chaos of life. Sometimes I feel my goal for balance is nothing more than an unattainable pipe dream, but nevertheless, I plug away!
What is your background? Experience, degrees, skills, etc.?
B.A. English from the University of Sioux Falls, 6 years of youth ministry experience, and 18 years of parenting!
People would be surprised to know that I . . .
love sports! If you consider the English teacher stereotype, a crazed wrestling, football, soccer, and baseball fanatic might not come to mind-- I am all of the above. And no worries, if you haven't ever seen an English teacher break out the crazy for a sporting event, we just need to catch a game together!