Began at Teachwell:
Why did you choose this field?
I chose the field of education because I have always enjoyed helping others as well as continually expanding my own understanding of others. I entered the field thinking that I would teach elementary special education, I quickly found that elementary school was not where I belonged. My passion lies with middle school and high school students.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a teacher, specifically a math teacher. Math has always been a strength of mine and I wanted to share my excitement for the subject with students in my own classroom.
What or who most inspires you?
My brother is the person who inspires me the most. He has faced so many challenges throughout his life including addiction, and mental health challenges. For the longest time he kept his struggles to himself and tried to come across as a well adjusted and successful adult. While, in reality, he had a gambling addiction and struggled with depression, both of which were beginning to take over his life. Even though these struggles almost cost him his life, he has turned his negative experiences into something great. He has not gambled for almost twelve years, continues to attend GA meetings, and is now happily married and has a son. To watch him overcome these challenges and turn his life into something he loves and is proud of, inspires me to take each challenge I face and turn it into a learning experience and turn it into something positive.
The existence of Teachwell first came to my attention about six months ago when a co-worker, who knew I was ready for a change, mentioned it. She had a friend who had been working at Teachwell, for a couple of years at that point, who continually mentioned how wonderful it was to teach for Teachwell. I let the idea sit for a while and then decided to look into the program further. The more I learned about Teachwell and its purpose, and the more people I talked to who currently worked at Teachwell, the more interested I became. I heard nothing but great things about Teachwell, so I applied for a position that seemed to fit what I wanted to do perfectly. I'm excited to be a part of the Teachwell team!
What are you proudest of?
In a personal sense, I am proudest of the growth I have made over the past few years. I have discovered a lot about myself, who I am as a person and where my passions lie. It hasn't been an easy journey but it has been very rewarding and I am very proud of the person I am today. Professionally, I am most proud of the students I have worked with who had everything stacked against them and they still came out on the other side with their diploma and a plan of where to go next. I am incredibly proud of how hard they worked to give themselves the best chance to become a successful adult after high school.
How do you hope to make a difference?
I hope that through building authentic and genuine relationships with my students, I will be able to inspire them to continually work on becoming better versions of themselves, to see their own worth, and to see that even though they may have experienced negative and/or traumatic events, there is a way to turn those experiences into something positive.
What lessons has your work life taught you?
Building relationships with students always comes first. Once the relationships are built, trust and respect for each other developed, only then can academics become meaningful and engaging. Another lesson that I learned over the past seven years is that being vulnerable and telling your own stories, develops a deeper respect for each other.
What is your background? Experience, degrees, skills, etc.?
I earned my bachelors degree at Augustana College in elementary and special education. A few years later, I earned my masters degree from Augustana University in special populations, a program that focused on studying students at risk, RTI, and autism. It was an eye opening program. My teaching experience so far has consisted of 7 years at Lincoln High School. I taught resource math, social awareness, oversaw multiple online classes, and had the opportunity to co-teach world geography last year. As a special education teacher, I have become quite familiar with the world of paperwork.
People would be surprised to know that I . . .