Why did you choose the field of education as a career?
I have always thought of myself as a teacher from the time I was a little girl teaching to my stuffed animals on my bed, grading papers, and taking attendance. I felt like I had a gift for explaining the math to my classmates. I was always very athletic and thought I could teach physical education. Since the openings for physical education was scarce, my father encouraged me to major in math and minor in physical education, which is exactly what I did. I was hired in 1984 to do just that: Teach math and use my physical education minor to coach swimming at Batchelor Middle School.
Choose three words to describe your educational philosophy that guides you as an educator.
I have always tried to be fair with my students and embraced my own shortcomings and have encouraged my students to learn from their mistakes. I always tell students that if there is a mistake they feel I have made whether it be in my grading or instruction to let me know. I am not afraid to admit if I made a mistake and I love to hear when students correct anything I may have said or done. This shows me they are really paying attention and are taking ownership with their learning.
I feel as though I am friendly with my students. I love to hear about their interests, hobbies, and activities. Many students over the years have parents who have been former students of mine. I enjoy it so much when a student says to me that I was their mom or dad’s math teacher.
Lastly, I feel that I make a connection with students by being fashion - conscious. I love to compliment students on their attire and enjoy when a student compliments me on mine.
What would you identify as your greatest success(es), especially in light of the current environment?
I have never felt comfortable with learning new technology. I used it as a tool in my instruction occasionally. I used technology as I needed to. This year I can say that I had my biggest successes overcoming some of those insecurities with technology. I was wondering at the beginning of the school year if I was going to be able to teach with all of the technology needed and delivering that teaching via our learning management system. With much persistence and an enormous amount of patience, support and guidance from my math colleagues, the media specialist, and my administrators, I was able to overcome those technology obstacles and deliver my instruction everyday. I owe a lot of gratitude to those who took their time to help me.
What is your favorite quote/saying?
When I was teaching “Adding Integers” , I used and still use the phrase “Carries more weight” to help students determine if the answer will be positive or negative. There is a young man in our community, who works at one of the local Krogers that will yell out that quote whenever he sees me, no matter our proximity to each other instead of saying hello to me. This definitely warms my heart to know he remembered that quote and always connects it to me.
What is the most rewarding part of your profession?
The most rewarding part of my profession is when I see former students out in the community and being able to share middle school math memories from Batchelor and Jackson Creek and from coaching swimming at Batchelor. We laugh about things that went on in those awkward middle school years. I enjoy hearing about the people they have become since middle school. I always felt that a middle school teacher should never judge the future of their students since they will grow and change so much over the years. When I see former students, I certainly feel that way.
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