Choose three words to describe your educational philosophy that guides you as an educator.
Fair, respectful, empathetic
What is one piece of advice you would give to a person entering into the education field during a unprecedented times?
Go for it – it will be hard and you aren’t going to be rich, but it will be the most fulfilling job you can ever have.
What would you identify as your greatest success(es), especially in light of the current environment?
I have worked with several students through the years that struggled emotionally and academically while they were at South. To work with these students and their families as they struggled with mental illness, depression, anxiety, suicide ideation was emotionally draining for everyone on a daily basis. But, sticking with them to help them see that they can be a success at school and in life is the most rewarding thing to me. I am so proud that these students have been able to take the next step into their adult lives and are successfully pursuing their passions.
Who was the most influential teacher, coach, principal, etc. you had growing up? What made them influential?
I had great elementary school teachers at Lincoln Elementary in Hamilton, Ohio. All of them shared their love of learning and stressed the importance of being the best student that you could be. The building was a warm, nurturing environment that made you want to come to school every day. Probably the one individual that stood out was Jim Smith our gym teacher, who shared his love of the circus by starting a children’s circus in the school. We learned new skills, how to work with our peers and how to overcome our fears of trying new stunts. When I decided I was going to be a teacher I went to see him. He told me to be prepared to work hard, to be taken for granted, and to be underpaid. But, he also said that teaching would be the most rewarding job I would ever have.
What is the most rewarding part of your profession?
The most rewarding part of my profession is when I have the privilege of standing next to the stage at graduation and seeing the students receive their diplomas. It is especially gratifying when the students who really struggled and who, as freshman, might never have considered graduation as something that they could achieve.
The people who allow the teachers and students to teach and learn are the true unsung heroes of schools. I would like to to thank the custodians and maintenance staff, the cafeteria team, the paraeducators and the office secretaries for making our lives run smoothly.
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