I believe in empowering children to follow their dreams, which sometimes means listening long enough to help them find their dreams. Teaching is also a creative process for me. Everyday brings new challenges, opportunities to try new things and problem solve. I learn something new almost everyday. Just the other day one of my students asked, “how can frogs stay underwater?” “I don’t know, should we Google it?” I responded. The modern-day teacher doesn’t (shouldn’t) need to know everything. It’s impossible to know everything. BUT – I sure know how to find an answer. Did you know that frogs absorb oxygen through their skin?
1. I love teaching. For me, working with kids is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I also love the creative side of teaching. Everyday brings a new challenge, an opportunity to try new things and problem solve. I learn something almost everyday. Just the other day one of my students asked, “how can frogs stay underwater?” ”I don’t know, should we google it?” I responded. The modern-day teacher doesn’t (shouldn’t) need to know everything. It’s impossible to know everything. BUT – I sure know how to find an answer.
2. Family is important.
My best friends in the whole world are my two sisters, Shauna and Katie. Shauna is a highschool history teacher in New York City, and Katie is studying at UC Davis. One of the reasons I moved to San Francisco was to be closer to Katie.
My parents, Maureen and Don, are also teachers. My father is now the Upper School Principal at Nagoya International School in Japan. I am sure you will hear many stories of my mom and dad throughout the year; they are my mentors, my fan club and my buddies. If I am wise, it is because of them.
I am also grateful to be accompanied through life by my husband, Eric. We were married in the summer of 2006 and have been happily navigating life’s journey ever since. I look forward to introducing you to him.
3. I am a reader and a writer. Check out what I am reading on my online reading journal at goodreads.com. As well as books, many of my waking hours are spent reading about teaching in the blogosphere. My reading often inspires me to write, as you can see on my post, About Me As a Reader. As a writer, I prefer to write essays, although I would like to one day write a story about my family histories and travels. Once a week I strive to participate in an online writing community. These days, however, most of my writing time is spent developing lesson plans and posting to this blog.
4. I am an inquirer. The world is a magical place, and I find myself wondering about small things (how do frogs breathe underwater?) and big things (how do I define ‘home’?). My interests run through my life like themes, slowly shifting and changing. Here are some of my current passions:
4. I am a maker. Inside my “maker’s kit” I keep a sewing kit, knitting needles, a ruler, scissors, paintbrushes and more. I have also compiled a more traditional toolkit filled with screwdrivers, nails, measuring tape and more. Recently I started a design board at pinterest.com, where I am collecting images that inspire and motivate the maker in me.
a personal history
I spent my childhood on Vashon Island, near Seattle, Washington. After graduating at the top of my class from Charles Wright Academy, my family moved to Lutsk, Ukraine where we spent nine months working, learning, eating and adventuring.
In the Spring of 1998, I returned to the States as a student at Whitman College where I took classes in Art History, German Language and Philosophy. In 2002, I graduated magna cum laude from Whitman College and moved to Madison, WI where I worked as an Administrative Assistant at Omega School, helping students of all ages prepare for the GED.
In January of 2005, while visiting my parents in Tallinn, Estonia, I worked as a substitute teacher at the International School of Estonia.
In August of 2005 I returned to Seattle and worked as a counselor/teacher at the Boys and Girls Club. Excited by my work with school-aged children, I chose to pursue a career in teaching, and in July of 2008 I completed the Masters in Teaching Program at Seattle University.
I returned to Tallinn, Estonia in the Fall of 2009 to join the International School of Estonia’s superb staff as a third grade teacher. There I enjoyed working with the Primary Years Program, applying structured inquiry to promote the intellectual and emotional development of compassionate, internationally minded students.
In the Fall of 2011, I joined the Alta Vista School team as a second grade teacher. At AVS I helped develop a hands-on and project-based curriculum that appeals to multiple learning styles.
In 2013 I began my work with Redwood Day School as a long-term substitute in fourth grade. Working with this diverse and compassionate community of educators and learners was a highlight of my career.
In 2018 I moved to upstate New York to be closer to family.