Tell us something about you...
I have lived in Columbus, Ohio for 15 years. I grew up in a small town about 45 minutes northeast of Cleveland and went back home after graduation, but moved to Columbus two years later. I went to Ohio Wesleyan which is only 20 minutes from Columbus and was desperate to get back to being with my college friends. The opportunity to move down fell into my lap so I quit my first teaching job to try my hand at finding a better job here in central Ohio. I subbed for a year and lucked into a great entry position with the district for which I currently work. While transplanting myself to a "new" city and quitting my job was a huge risk, it was the best thing I ever could have done for myself.
How long have you been teaching?
After graduating in 1994, I was able to get a gig "teaching" summer camp with a preschool in a great district in suburban Cleveland. This job led to a full-time position teaching pre-K. After two years it was apparent there weren't going to be any grade level openings for a while, so I took a risk, quit and moved to central Ohio. I subbed for a year and landed a great entry level position with an outstanding district and haven't looked back. I have taught reading intervention, 5th grade, 1st grade (for 10 years) and am making the change to 3rd for this coming school year. I think, if my math is correct, today marks the beginning of my 18th year in education.
You might not know...
I have had worked for 18 different administrators. My district is the fastest growing in the state of Ohio and the 11th fastest growing in the United States. Because of the growth, we're constantly opening new buildings. When I started we had 3 elementaries. Yesterday our 15th opened. Constant change brings a lot of turnover, so I've learned to be flexible and just roll.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I'm excited to try third grade this year. I'll be working with one of my dearest friends - who is retiring in two years. This will be a great opportunity to share all the time she has left together - not just in passing or when our lunch overlaps.
What do you need to improve?
Working with older kids means I need to make an effort to incorporate more technology. I'm a technophobe and need a lot of guidance and support with tech. I started a blog this summer in hopes of becoming more proficient with going beyond what I'm able to do with word processing, publishing and spreadsheets. My goal is to have my kids writing student blogs by the end of the first quarter.
What teaching supplies can you not live without?
Books, books and more books! I also have to say my overhead. I know it's old school, but I use it everyday for a multitude of things. I know about smart boards, but I have TONS of overhead manipulatives for math and love being able to use it to create shared writing together with the kids. I have also found that because smart boards are more prevalent, the overhead has become "novel" and tends to excite the kids.