I was born in Athens, Georgia and grew up in Yorktown, Virginia. My parents are originally from Reading, PA (very close to Philadelphia - I am a huge fan of everything that is Philadelphia). My Dad spent 20 years in the Air Force and retired as a Captain. My family has lived all along the East Coast, settling for most of my years in Yorktown. YES, that is in Virginia NOT Pennsylvania. If you’ve ever heard of the American Revolutionary War, you should know this! ;)
My Mother has worked in a Williamsburg Middle School for almost 15 years. She started off as a Special Ed Assistant and is currently the Guidance Secretary. Her Mother worked for the school board office in a Pennsylvania school district for most of her adult life. I have an older sister who graduated from William & Mary and received her Masters in Physics from UMASS. Currently, my sister is planning on teaching Physics and Math in High School. Although we don’t have a family history of teachers, we are definitely a family passionate about being involved in education.
I am a 2007 graduate of Old Dominion University, GO MONARCHS! I received my degree in Recreation and Tourism Studies with a minor in Marketing. Growing up, I always planned that I would be an Elementary School Teacher, until I spent my first year of college making mistakes and wrong decisions. After the end of my first year, tattered and confused from the demise of a semester and more importantly, my dream, I needed to find a new direction. This is what ended my plans of being a teacher… temporarily. I think some people go into teaching at certain times in their life, when they’re ready to take on the magnitude of it. And for me, I wasn’t ready at 18 years old to know the importance of what it meant to be a teacher. I am thankful every day for this experience and hope it helps me become the best teacher I can be.
So, I changed my degree and future plans... read below!
After deciding teaching wasn’t for me at the time, I spent a summer trying to figure out what was. Besides teaching young children, what else was I passionate about? Well, I liked planning things… parties, trips, dinners (even though I still can’t cook), anything that requires someone to plan and put many different aspects together to make one event. I wanted to be an Event Planner. I think that phrase constituted big things for me. Big cities, big salaries, grand atmospheres, beautiful people and so much more. Like many young girls, I imagine it makes people think of the celebrities they see in movies or on magazines, the reality TV shows they watch religiously. Yes, I admit I am also guilty of this!
So, I changed my major to Tourism where I knew I could get experience in Event Planning and tacked on Marketing because it would help with the business side. I worked hard in school, and made the dean’s list every semester for 2 ½ years. I got an internship at the Hermitage Foundation Museum in Norfolk as their Tours & Events Assistant (if you haven't been there, go! It's beautiful). I helped plan and work weddings, galas, dinner parties, cocktail receptions... and I thrived on it. To me, it was the closest thing to magic I knew. Plan a party and make it happen. One week after I graduated, I moved to Washington D.C. to fulfill my role as Catering Intern at the National Museum of Natural History. I was hired after my 3 month internship as the Regional Catering Manager for the Smithsonian Institution. I planned events at all of the Smithsonian's on the National Mall. I worked there for over a year and was promoted by my company to be the Director of Catering at the headquarters of Capital One in McLean, VA. Yes, Capital One as in the commercial with the Vikings and “what’s in your wallet?” Although I very much enjoy planning events and throwing great parties, it’s not what I’m passionate about or see myself doing for most of my adult life. If I am going to work 70 hours a week, it’s going to be grading papers, making lesson plans and teaching young children. So here I am, still working full time in a job that can never guarantee a set schedule, taking classes towards my dream and hoping for the best!
My Teaching Philosophy
To me, Education is one of the most important opportunities we will ever get in this world. It is the door to many things. Helping students realize this and encouraging them to take an active role in their education will hopefully deliver a positive outcome for them. I think getting students involved in their future from a young age and making learning an opportunity rather than an obligation will make school a positive task. I want them to take advantage of the opportunity they are given. A goal of mine is to find how you can teach kids at a young age that their educational path is important, no matter what they choose to do when they are done. As a teacher, I want to make myself available to students to take advantage of my knowledge and willingness to help them. I think too often we have teachers who are there to teach during class and it stops at that. Being actively involved in your students educational outcome as well as the school they are in will create a positive image to your students.